Genetic diversity in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq) using RAM (Random Amplified Microsatellites)

ABSTRACT The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq) plays an important role in the economy of some tropical countries; Colombia ranks first for production in Latin America and fifth in the world. The aim of this research was to characterize the genetic variability of 51 oil palm genotypes from the Congo with seven randomly amplified microsatellite markers RAM. As a result, 241 alleles were generated andthe number of polymorphic loci ranged from 46 to 14 for the ACA and CGA primers, respectively. High genetic diversity was found, with a total heterozygosity of 0.64, along with a high percentage of polymorphic loci, 89%. The coefficient of genetic differentiation (Fst) was 0.15, indicating that there was moderate genetic differentiation. The genetic diversity study differentiated the 51 genotypes into four groups with a similarity of 0.52. The RAM technique detected the genetic variability of the palm genotypes and showed a high degree of polymorphism and sensitivity for discrimination. These results provide information that can be used to develop conservation strategies for palm germplasm and breeding programs to obtain more productive palm genotypes with superior quality and tolerance to major diseases.