Parveez G.K.A., R. Singh, E.T.L. Low, M.O. Abdullah, M.A.A. Manaf, M.Y. Abdul Masani, A.M. Dayang Izawati, B. Bahariah, M. Siti Masura, A. Nur Hanin, W.S. Wan Nur Syuhada, A.R. Nurfahisza, I. Nor Fakhrana, F.H. Lim, S. Ravigadevi, A. Kushairi and Y.M. Choo
Malaysian Palm Oil Board, No. 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
Oil palm is the most productive vegetable oil crop in the world that can be used either as edible foodstuff or industrial feedstock. Systematic progress in conventional breeding, application of good agriculture practices among others have allowed the oil palm industry to obtain a solid footing in South East Asia, especially Malaysia and Indonesia, which has the most suitable land. To remain competitive, diversification of research into profitable areas, such as biotechnology is a necessity. Biotechnology offers tremendous opportunities for further improvement of oil palm. Recently a major breakthrough in sequencing the genome of oil palm was made by MPOB which now makes the identification and characterization of essential genes closer to reality. Isolation of genes related to oil palm fruit and somaclonal variation were practical achievement using the genome sequencing success. Concurrently, genetic modification to produce useful and higher value nutraceutical and industrial feedstock is being carried out. Production of transgenic oil palm using biolistics, Agrobacterium-mediated and protoplasts-mediated methods have been reported. The transgenic oil palm is still in research stage and is not expected to be in the market before 2030. Till than the palm oil will remain to be GMO free.