Displaying all 8 publications

  1. Ting NC, Jansen J, Nagappan J, Ishak Z, Chin CW, Tan SG, et al.
    PLoS One, 2013;8(1):e53076.
    PMID: 23382832 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053076
    Clonal reproduction of oil palm by means of tissue culture is a very inefficient process. Tissue culturability is known to be genotype dependent with some genotypes being more amenable to tissue culture than others. In this study, genetic linkage maps enriched with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were developed for dura (ENL48) and pisifera (ML161), the two fruit forms of oil palm, Elaeis guineensis. The SSR markers were mapped onto earlier reported parental maps based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers. The new linkage map of ENL48 contains 148 markers (33 AFLPs, 38 RFLPs and 77 SSRs) in 23 linkage groups (LGs), covering a total map length of 798.0 cM. The ML161 map contains 240 markers (50 AFLPs, 71 RFLPs and 119 SSRs) in 24 LGs covering a total of 1,328.1 cM. Using the improved maps, two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with tissue culturability were identified each for callusing rate and embryogenesis rate. A QTL for callogenesis was identified in LGD4b of ENL48 and explained 17.5% of the phenotypic variation. For embryogenesis rate, a QTL was detected on LGP16b in ML161 and explained 20.1% of the variation. This study is the first attempt to identify QTL associated with tissue culture amenity in oil palm which is an important step towards understanding the molecular processes underlying clonal regeneration of oil palm.
  2. Nagappan J, Chin CF, Angel LPL, Cooper RM, May ST, Low EL
    Biotechnol Lett, 2018 Dec;40(11-12):1541-1550.
    PMID: 30203158 DOI: 10.1007/s10529-018-2603-7
    The first and most crucial step of all molecular techniques is to isolate high quality and intact nucleic acids. However, DNA and RNA isolation from fungal samples are usually difficult due to the cell walls that are relatively unsusceptible to lysis and often resistant to traditional extraction procedures. Although there are many extraction protocols for Ganoderma species, different extraction protocols have been applied to different species to obtain high yields of good quality nucleic acids, especially for genome and transcriptome sequencing. Ganoderma species, mainly G. boninense causes the basal stem rot disease, a devastating disease that plagues the oil palm industry. Here, we describe modified DNA extraction protocols for G. boninense, G. miniatocinctum and G. tornatum, and an RNA extraction protocol for G. boninense. The modified salting out DNA extraction protocol is suitable for G. boninense and G. miniatocinctum while the modified high salt and low pH protocol is suitable for G. tornatum. The modified DNA and RNA extraction protocols were able to produce high quality genomic DNA and total RNA of ~ 140 to 160 µg/g and ~ 80 µg/g of mycelia respectively, for Single Molecule Real Time (PacBio Sequel® System) and Illumina sequencing. These protocols will benefit those studying the oil palm pathogens at nucleotide level.
  3. Sanusi NSNM, Rosli R, Halim MAA, Chan KL, Nagappan J, Azizi N, et al.
    Database (Oxford), 2018 01 01;2018.
    PMID: 30239681 DOI: 10.1093/database/bay095
    A set of Elaeis guineensis genes had been generated by combining two gene prediction pipelines: Fgenesh++ developed by Softberry and Seqping by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. PalmXplore was developed to provide a scalable data repository and a user-friendly search engine system to efficiently store, manage and retrieve the oil palm gene sequences and annotations. Information deposited in PalmXplore includes predicted genes, their genomic coordinates, as well as the annotations derived from external databases, such as Pfam, Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Information about genes related to important traits, such as those involved in fatty acid biosynthesis (FAB) and disease resistance, is also provided. The system offers Basic Local Alignment Search Tool homology search, where the results can be downloaded or visualized in the oil palm genome browser (MYPalmViewer). PalmXplore is regularly updated offering new features, improvements to genome annotation and new genomic sequences. The system is freely accessible at http://palmxplore.mpob.gov.my.
  4. Nagappan J, Ooi SE, Chan KL, Kadri F, Nurazah Z, Halim MAA, et al.
    Mol Biol Rep, 2024 Jan 25;51(1):212.
    PMID: 38273212 DOI: 10.1007/s11033-023-09054-4
    BACKGROUND: Ganoderma boninense is a phytopathogen of oil palm, causing basal and upper stem rot diseases.

    METHODS: The genome sequence was used as a reference to study gene expression during growth in a starved carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) environment with minimal sugar and sawdust as initial energy sources. This study was conducted to mimic possible limitations of the C-N nutrient sources during the growth of G. boninense in oil palm plantations.

    RESULTS: Genome sequencing of an isolate collected from a palm tree in West Malaysia generated an assembly of 67.12 Mb encoding 19,851 predicted genes. Transcriptomic analysis from a time course experiment during growth in this starvation media identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were found to be associated with 29 metabolic pathways. During the active growth phase, 26 DEGs were related to four pathways, including secondary metabolite biosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, glycan metabolism and mycotoxin biosynthesis. G. boninense genes involved in the carbohydrate metabolism pathway that contribute to the degradation of plant cell walls were up-regulated. Interestingly, several genes associated with the mycotoxin biosynthesis pathway were identified as playing a possible role in pathogen-host interaction. In addition, metabolomics analysis revealed six metabolites, maltose, xylobiose, glucooligosaccharide, glycylproline, dimethylfumaric acid and arabitol that were up-regulated on Day2 of the time course experiment.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides information on genes expressed by G. boninense in metabolic pathways that may play a role in the initial infection of the host.

  5. Singh R, Low ET, Ooi LC, Ong-Abdullah M, Nookiah R, Ting NC, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2014 Jun 30;5:4106.
    PMID: 24978855 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5106
    Oil palm, a plantation crop of major economic importance in Southeast Asia, is the predominant source of edible oil worldwide. We report the identification of the virescens (VIR) gene, which controls fruit exocarp colour and is an indicator of ripeness. VIR is a R2R3-MYB transcription factor with homology to Lilium LhMYB12 and similarity to Arabidopsis production of anthocyanin pigment1 (PAP1). We identify five independent mutant alleles of VIR in over 400 accessions from sub-Saharan Africa that account for the dominant-negative virescens phenotype. Each mutation results in premature termination of the carboxy-terminal domain of VIR, resembling McClintock's C1-I allele in maize. The abundance of alleles likely reflects cultural practices, by which fruits were venerated for magical and medicinal properties. The identification of VIR will allow selection of the trait at the seed or early-nursery stage, 3-6 years before fruits are produced, greatly advancing introgression into elite breeding material.
  6. Singh R, Ong-Abdullah M, Low ET, Manaf MA, Rosli R, Nookiah R, et al.
    Nature, 2013 Aug 15;500(7462):335-9.
    PMID: 23883927 DOI: 10.1038/nature12309
    Oil palm is the most productive oil-bearing crop. Although it is planted on only 5% of the total world vegetable oil acreage, palm oil accounts for 33% of vegetable oil and 45% of edible oil worldwide, but increased cultivation competes with dwindling rainforest reserves. We report the 1.8-gigabase (Gb) genome sequence of the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, the predominant source of worldwide oil production. A total of 1.535 Gb of assembled sequence and transcriptome data from 30 tissue types were used to predict at least 34,802 genes, including oil biosynthesis genes and homologues of WRINKLED1 (WRI1), and other transcriptional regulators, which are highly expressed in the kernel. We also report the draft sequence of the South American oil palm Elaeis oleifera, which has the same number of chromosomes (2n = 32) and produces fertile interspecific hybrids with E. guineensis but seems to have diverged in the New World. Segmental duplications of chromosome arms define the palaeotetraploid origin of palm trees. The oil palm sequence enables the discovery of genes for important traits as well as somaclonal epigenetic alterations that restrict the use of clones in commercial plantings, and should therefore help to achieve sustainability for biofuels and edible oils, reducing the rainforest footprint of this tropical plantation crop.
  7. Singh R, Low ET, Ooi LC, Ong-Abdullah M, Ting NC, Nagappan J, et al.
    Nature, 2013 Aug 15;500(7462):340-4.
    PMID: 23883930 DOI: 10.1038/nature12356
    A key event in the domestication and breeding of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis was loss of the thick coconut-like shell surrounding the kernel. Modern E. guineensis has three fruit forms, dura (thick-shelled), pisifera (shell-less) and tenera (thin-shelled), a hybrid between dura and pisifera. The pisifera palm is usually female-sterile. The tenera palm yields far more oil than dura, and is the basis for commercial palm oil production in all of southeast Asia. Here we describe the mapping and identification of the SHELL gene responsible for the different fruit forms. Using homozygosity mapping by sequencing, we found two independent mutations in the DNA-binding domain of a homologue of the MADS-box gene SEEDSTICK (STK, also known as AGAMOUS-LIKE 11), which controls ovule identity and seed development in Arabidopsis. The SHELL gene is responsible for the tenera phenotype in both cultivated and wild palms from sub-Saharan Africa, and our findings provide a genetic explanation for the single gene hybrid vigour (or heterosis) attributed to SHELL, via heterodimerization. This gene mutation explains the single most important economic trait in oil palm, and has implications for the competing interests of global edible oil production, biofuels and rainforest conservation.
  8. Ooi LC, Low ET, Abdullah MO, Nookiah R, Ting NC, Nagappan J, et al.
    Front Plant Sci, 2016;7:771.
    PMID: 27446094 DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00771
    Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is the most productive oil bearing crop worldwide. It has three fruit forms, namely dura (thick-shelled), pisifera (shell-less) and tenera (thin-shelled), which are controlled by the SHELL gene. The fruit forms exhibit monogenic co-dominant inheritance, where tenera is a hybrid obtained by crossing maternal dura and paternal pisifera palms. Commercial palm oil production is based on planting thin-shelled tenera palms, which typically yield 30% more oil than dura palms, while pisifera palms are female-sterile and have little to no palm oil yield. It is clear that tenera hybrids produce more oil than either parent due to single gene heterosis. The unintentional planting of dura or pisifera palms reduces overall yield and impacts land utilization that would otherwise be devoted to more productive tenera palms. Here, we identify three additional novel mutant alleles of the SHELL gene, which encode a type II MADS-box transcription factor, and determine oil yield via control of shell fruit form phenotype in a manner similar to two previously identified mutant SHELL alleles. Assays encompassing all five mutations account for all dura and pisifera palms analyzed. By assaying for these variants in 10,224 mature palms or seedlings, we report the first large scale accurate genotype-based determination of the fruit forms in independent oil palm planting sites and in the nurseries that supply them throughout Malaysia. The measured non-tenera contamination rate (10.9% overall on a weighted average basis) underscores the importance of SHELL genetic testing of seedlings prior to planting in production fields. By eliminating non-tenera contamination, comprehensive SHELL genetic testing can improve sustainability by increasing yield on existing planted lands. In addition, economic modeling demonstrates that SHELL gene testing will confer substantial annual economic gains to the oil palm industry, to Malaysian gross national income and to Malaysian government tax receipts.
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