The objectives of the proposal are the improvement of coconut in the areas of breeding and pathogen control. This will be achieved by introducing advanced technologies to (I) assist ongoing breeding programmes by the development of a coconut linkage map saturated with molecular markers, and (II) develop sensitive diagnostic probes for the detection of pathogens and explore possibilities for conventional cross-protection in the case of coconut foliar decay virus (CFDV) infection. Pathogen diagnosis is not only elementary for disease control in infected plantations (MLO in Africa, CCCVd in South-East Asia and the Pacific, Phytophthora in South East Asia, CFDV in Vanuatu), but it is also a prerequisite for the safe movement of germplasm, and this fact links both topics of the proposal. Methods of gene technology as applied in plant molecular biology will be developed under topic III with specific emphasis on coconut. This will provide the basis for both areas I and II and assist in adapting techniques to field conditions. In summary the proposal is designed to use PCR for mapped and random markers, to apply PCR for genotype fingerprinting in the management of germplasm collections, to generate molecular markers for polymorphism, to associate them with linkage groups, to identify molecular markers for the selection genetic material showing resistance or tolerance to pathogens (MLO, CFDV, Phytophthora) or exhibiting other characteristics like for example growth habit (Dwarf versus Tall coconut ecotypes that are used in most breeding programmes). These activities will, therefore, be to the advantage of all coconut-producing countries.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1101 Davao City