Searching for spear rot tolerance
ASD has the strength of having a very broad genetic base that encompasses the Elaeis guineensis and E. oleifera species. From this genetic resource it is possible to select palms with particular desirable traits and perform the appropriate crosses according to the objective sought. This sustained search for new planting materials has allowed us to select some that have shown a marked tolerance to abiotic stress and also to spear rots. In addition to the Amazon hybrid (OxG: E. oleifera x E. guineensis), it has also been found that there are very obvious possibilities of spear rot tolerance within the guineensis species. Some commercial varieties available that have this trait are Bamenda x Ekona and Tanzania x Ekona, but work is being done on the development of even more promising ones. All these crosses, in addition to the new OxG hybrids, are being evaluated in several places where spear rot is prevalent.
One such experiment was recently planted in the San Lorenzo region of Ecuador, through a cooperative agreement with the company Alespalma, where 15 crosses were planted, including Bamenda x Ekona, Tanzania x Ekona, OxG Amazon, OxG Brunca, Bamenda x Malawi, Compacta x La Mé, Deli x Ghana, Deli x Malawi, Deli x Tanzania, Enthebe x Ghana, OxG Manaos x Ghana, Tanzania x Ghana and Tanzania x La Mé. Given the prevalence of spear rot in this area, results on the tolerance of these materials are expected in less than three years.
Other similar tests to select stress and disease tolerant varieties have been planted (or will be planted in the near future) in Pará, Brazil (in cooperation with the Biovale company that currently has very important oil palm plantation projects in the region), Peru and Colombia.
Preparation of a plot to plant a crossing experiment in search of tolerance to spear rot in Ecuador.