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Full genome map of oil palm indicates a way to raise yields and protect rainforest
Date:7/26/2013

alm oil, in the 1990s. According to the MPOB, the government has committed to preserve 50 percent of Malaysia's total land area as forest. To meet increased demand for palm oil, the government converted colonial rubber and cocoa plantations to oil palm plantations.

What the full genome sequences reveal

The discovery of Shell occurs in the context of a broader effort to map the genomes of both the African and South American oil palm species. One of the newly published maps is the 1.8 gigabase sequence of the E. guineensis African oil palm. It comprises nearly 35,000 genes, including the full set of oil biosynthesis genes and other transcriptional regulators highly expressed in the oil-rich palm fruit.

The researchers also created a draft sequence of the South American oil palm E. oleifera. Both palm species are in the Arecaceae family of flowering plants, which fossil evidence dates to the Cretaceous period, an estimated 140 to 200 million years ago. The investigators' comparison of the two maps enabled them to estimate that the oil palm species diverged at the old world- new world split.


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Contact: Peter Tarr
tarr@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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