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Diversity, estimates of genetic parameters and selection of macaw superior genotypes (Acrocomia aculeata)

Grant number: 09/14720-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2009
Effective date (End): November 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal Investigator:Carlos Augusto Colombo
Grantee:Luiz Henrique Chorfi Berton
Host Institution: Instituto Agronômico (IAC). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil


There is a large gap between supply and need for biodiesel and according to official estimates, is around 800 million liters annually. In this sense, the big challenge is to reconcile the expansion of areas of cane sugar, oilseeds and forest trees with an orderly and sustainable occupation of agricultural land, in order to meet the demand for biodiesel, which should be growing. Within the forest species to produce biodiesel, palm trees, native and exotic, has a broad potential for use, with particular emphasis on macaw (Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq.) Lood. Ex Mart.), a native palm, stemmed and spontaneous occurrence in the tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas, from southern Mexico to southern Brazil, and therefore in almost all Brazilian territory, historically exploited by low-income populations, whose qualities become important from the standpoint of natural mainly ecological and socio-economic development. According to unofficial estimates, can produce 4 thousand liters of oil per hectare per year. By comparison, soybean produces 420 liters, 890 liters sunflower and castor beans 1320 liters of oil per hectare per year. However, in view of the future commercial exploitation agronomic criteria with more competitive, there are few studies with macaw order to analyze the genetic potential for breeding purposes. This project aims at gathering and evaluation of natural populations of macaw spontaneous occurrence in the State of Sao Paulo in order to characterize genetically the production potential and yield and composition of palm oil plant for use in commercial scale in biodiesel production chain . The data of genetic diversity, along those of botanical composition and yield of oil will be used to select mother plants to form a germplasm collection of work aiming at the improvement of the species, which will initially estimated genetic parameters based on half-sib progenies. (AU)

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