COMPARATIVE GROWTH RATES OF THREE VARIETIES OF ELAEIS GUINEENSIS JACQ. ON THE BASAL MEDIA OF MURASHIGE AND SKOOG, GAMBORG ET AL., AND EEUWENS
The effect of three basal media, namely; Murashige and Skoog (MS), Gamborg et al. (B5), and Eeuwens (Y3) were assessed for mass propagation of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq. var. Dura, Pisifera and Tenera) zygotic embryos in vitro. The experimental design was a 3 x 4 factorial in a completely randomized design with each treatment consisting of ten replicates. The embryos were excised under aseptic conditions and cultured on each of the three basal media as well as control which were devoid of salts of the basal media. The growth and development of oil palm embryos were affected by the type of media and the variety (Dura, Pisifera and Tenera) involved as all the basal media used regenerated plantlets directly from mature zygotic embryos of oil palm. For Dura variety, Y3 medium gave the best result for fresh weight (0.15 ± 0.01g), shoot length (0.77 ± 0.13 cm), leaf area (0.49 ± 0.10 cm2 ), and number of leaves (1.50 ± 0.22); B5 medium gave the highest sprout rate (0,11 ± 0.01) and per cent sprouting (86.67 ± 6.67) while MS medium had the best result for root length (2.31 ± 0.25 cm). For pisifera variety, Y3 medium was significantly superior at P ≤0.05 to MS and B5 in fresh weight (0.15 ± 0.02 g), shoot length (0.83 ± 0.08 cm), root length (1.90 ± 0.39 cm), leaf area (0.52 ± 0.06 cm2), number of leaves (1.40 ± 0.16), and per cent sprouting (100.00 ± 0.00) while fror Tenera variety, B5 medium produced the best results for all the parameters. The protocol reported in this work can be used for large scale propagation and production of true-to-type oil palm plants within a short period of time.