On-going Research

I. Project title: Increasing percentage (75%) of kopyor fruits through plant breeding and development of early detection technology of kopyor coconut seedlings with molecular marker

Implementing Unit: Bogor Agricultural University (IPB)

Location: Bogor, West Java, Pati, Central Java, Sumenep and Jember, East Java, and Manado, South Sulawesi, INDONESIA

Objectives

a. Short term objectives:

  • To collect “Kopyor” coconut mutants as parental/sources of mutant genes controlling the “Kopyor” phenotype
  • To collect information regarding the diversity of mutant genes controlling the “Kopyor” phenotype among collected parental mutants of “Kopyor” coconuts
  • To obtain segregating seedlings derived from crossing of a number of “Kopyor” coconut mutants as base populations for selecting new Coconut Variety having yield potential of 75% kopyor fruits
  • To develop gene specific and genome wide markers as co-dominant markers for early detection/identification of the coconut seedling producing “Kopyor” fruits

b. Long term objectives:

To develop population of “Kopyor” coconut variety producing at least 75% of kopyor fruits through plant breeding, and to develop methods for early detection of coconut seedlings producing kopyor fruits using co-dominant molecular markers.

5. Description of Project:

“Kopyor” coconut mutant is one type of excotic recessive coconut mutant that has high economic value. The endosperm of this “Kopyor” coconut mutant (triploid-homozygous recessive mutant kkk) is soft and somewhat sweeter than normal coconut (triploid-homozygous dominant KKK) and therefore the price of Kopyor coconut fruit is much higher than that of the normal one (10x higher). The prices of coconut seedlings are able to produce “Kopyor” fruits (the heterozygous Kk seedlings and especially the homozygous recessive mutant kk seedlings) are also significantly expensive and they are in high demand from the interested stake holders.

One of the problems related to production of “Kopyor” fruit of coconut is the low frequency of the harvested “Kopyor” fruits. This is primarily because of the recessive nature of the mutant gene controlling the “Kopyor” phenotype. Using the specific breeding strategy, such low frequency of “Kopyor” fruit can be increased. One of these research objectives was to increase the frequency of producing “Kopyor” fruits through hybridization of a number of selected “Kopyor” coconut mutants as donor parents to produce homozygous kk seedlings. Selection for desirable “kopyor” mutant can then be conducted on these seedling populations.

Because the heterozygous Kk seedlings and especially the homozygous recessive mutant kk seedlings are highly priced and in such a high demand, often time counterfeit seedlings (“bibit palsu”) were sold to the customers by a number of coconut seedling producers. Such practice is unfair to the customers since they have to pay more for counterfeit seedlings (“bibit palsu”). Since morphologically the coconut seedlings capable of producing “Kopyor” fruits (the heterozygous Kk seedlings and especially the homozygous recessive mutant kk seedlings) are not easily differentiated than that of normal one (the homozygous KK seedlings), morphological differentiation will not be possible. Alternatively, molecular marker that are able to differentiate the heterozygous mutant to the normal one (homozygous dominant KK) should to be used. One of these research objectives is to develop gene specific and genome wide markers as co-dominant markers for early detection/identification of the coconut seedling producing “Kopyor” fruits (the heterozygous Kk seedlings). Such markers if successfully developed, can be used to detect the counterfeit “Kopyor” coconut seedlings at the earliest stage of seedling development.

6. Methodology:

(1) To be able to use breeding approaches to increase the frequency of producing “Kopyor” coconut fruits, collection and identification of parent lines of “Kopyor” coconut mutants as sources of mutant genes controlling the “Kopyor” phenotype are necessary. The heterozygous “Kopyor” coconut parents (the heterozygous Kk parents) survey will be conducted at the Kabupaten Kalianda, Lampung; Pati, Central Java; Sumenep and Jember, East Java, Indonesia. Mutant coconut provenance known to produce > 50% “Kopyor” fruit will be selected as parents for controlled pollination in Step 3.

(2) In order to obtain wide level of variation, genetic diversity analysis for the identified potential “Kopyor” coconut mutants (Step 1) using the standard genome wide molecular markers (SSR markers) for coconut and the gene-specific markers are also necessary. The genetic diversity analysis for “Kopyor” coconut mutants will be conducted in this proposed research. In addition to the high frequency of producing “Kopyor” fruits, mutant coconut parent known to have the highest genetic distances will also be selected as parents for controlled pollination in Step 3. Genetic diversity analysis will be conducted at the Plant Molecular Biology Lab, IPB – Bogor.

(3) The segregating seedlings derived from controlled crossing of a number of selected “Kopyor” coconut parent (Step 1 and Step 2) will be developed as the base populations for selecting new Coconut Variety having yield potential of 75% kopyor fruits. The generated seedling populations will also be subjected to evaluation using co-dominant markers identified in Step 4. The controlled polination will be conducted at the Kabupaten Pati, Central Java, Indonesia.

(4) The gene specific and genome wide markers will be developed based on the previously generated gene specific marker as well as the genome wide marker (SSR markers). Those markers will be evaluated using the genome of known “Kopyor” coconut mutants and contrasted with the normal coconut. The mutant specific marker (marker significantly associated with the “Kopyor” coconut mutant and not with the normal one) will be selected from the marker analysis. Such informative marker will the be further tested for their ability to differentiate the “Kopyor” and the normal coconut parents and certain markers that has been proven to be informative will be used as co-dominant markers for early detection/identification of the coconut seedling producing “Kopyor” fruits. Such selective markers will also be used to identify and select the desired seedlings among segregated seedling populations generated from step 3. Development of gene specific and genome wide markers will be conducted at the Plant Molecular Biology Lab, IPB – Bogor.

7. Expected output of the year 2011:

  • Collection of “Kopyor” coconut mutants as parental/sources of mutant genes controlling the “Kopyor” phenotype.
  • Information regarding the diversity of mutant genes controlling the “Kopyor” phenotype among collected parental mutants of “Kopyor” coconuts.
  • Part of gene specific and genome wide markers as co-dominant markers for early detection/identification of the coconut seedling producing “Kopyor” fruits

8. Duration: 10 months in 2011

9. Approved Budget for 2011: Rp.103.420.000,- (supported by KKP3T Project of Agency for Agriculture Research & Development (AARD), Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia, Contract No. 874/LB.620/I.1/3/2011, Date: 21 March 2011).

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One Response to On-going Research

  1. yuni says:

    Is it still possible to join this project? I am a post graduate student at Biotechnology Major, IPB. I already 6 months studying biotechnology and I need a project for my MSc. thesis. Thanks for your opportunity (Yuni)

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