Chapter 4

Recent Advances in Sago Palm (Metroxylon Sagu Rottboell) Micropropagation

Annabelle U. Novero

Abstract

Metroxylon sagu (sago palm) has long been considered as one of the oldest sources of food for humans because of the presence of huge amounts of starch in its trunk. Sago palm is an important food source in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia. Sago palm is increasingly gaining acceptance as an important food source in southern regions of Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. Hence, more research efforts toward sago palm breeding and conservation are being conducted. The increasing global pressure to explore non-traditional sources of food and fuel dictates an urgent focus on sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottboell) biotechnology research. This paper reports the results of a starch yield assessment test among various sago palm ecotypes: spiny and non-spiny in either mesic or hydric environments to determine the most suitable sources of explants for in vitro experiments. Although non-spiny sago palms from a mesic area produced the highest mean starch yield of 64.3 kg, statistical analysis showed no significant differences in mean starch yield between the four ecotypes. An account of published reports on sago palm micropropagation is also summarized to give an overview of the status of sago palm biotechnology research. Breakthroughs in micropropagation will continue to be invaluable until a rapid method of multiplication of planting materials has been achieved.

Total Pages: 60-66 (7)

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