Kuala Lumpur, 26 November 2020 – Sime Darby Plantation (SDP), the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil, today announced the publication of its research and data on the oil palm genome assembly in ‘Plants’ – an international open-access journal published by MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute). It is also available on the website of the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
The publication follows the Company’s announcement in June 2020 when it committed to share its research which will fast-track the work of other researchers to improve oil palm yield and draw the line on deforestation by producing more oil without the need to clear more land.
Dr Harikrishna, SDP’s Chief Research and Development (R&D) Officer, said:
“I am delighted that we are making our genome sequence publicly available. We have successfully improved the existing oil palm genome assembly (published by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board) from 43% to 79% of completeness. This is important because the oil palm genome is a reference map for locating and controlling various key oil palm traits such as oil yield. A more complete map will give a better picture of genetic controls and information on locating other traits more effectively. We hope this data can be utilised by researchers to improve other genomes that are closely related to the palm species, such as date palm and coconut,”
Professor Anthony Sinskey, Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said:
It is amazing that the team at SDP has put together such a complex jigsaw puzzle. They have put in place chemistry and biology platforms, an informatics team, and a mathematical model to solve this problem and the results are really impressive. The days when companies could expand by going into more land or developing bigger plantations are over. If scientifically sound, scalable, and sustainable innovations like these are taken up by the industry – that will make all the difference,”
Interested parties may view the publication of SDP’s research on oil palm genome which is now available in: