Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences | JIRCAS

Identification of factors that determine carbohydrate content in old oil palm trees

Related Research Program: 
4th Medium to Long-Term PlanValue-adding Technologies

Contributing to the efficient use of discarded old oil palm trees

A joint research of JIRCAS and the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has identified the environmental factors that determine the fluctuation in the amount of photosynthetic carbohydrates accumulated in old oil palm trees. Due to reduced production of fruit bunches,old oil palm trees are cut down in about 25 years and are left in the plantations becoming a source of soil diseases and greenhouse gases. Effective utilization of old palm trees can help solve environmental problems. However, old palm trees that accumulate large amount of nonstructural carbohydrates such as starch and free sugars are highly desirable in order to produce biogas and biodegradable materials. In this study, a survey conducted in Penang, Malaysia analyzed the relationships between environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall, and the non-structural carbohydrates in the stems where the materials produced by photosynthesis are stored. It was revealed that the amount of nonstructural carbohydrates in stems increased during periods of high precipitation and lower temperatures of the land. The results also provide information that can be used in adjusting the time of felling the oil palm trees to periods that will maximize the non-structural carbohydrates in the stems thereby contributing to more efficient use of discarded old oil palm trees.


Tani N, Abdul Hamid ZA, Joseph N, Sulaiman O, Hashim R, Arai T, Satake A, Kondo T and Kosugi A
Small temperature variations are a key regulator of reproductive growth and assimilate storage in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis)
Scientific Reports (2020) 10, Article number: 650
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-57170-8

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JIRCAS President: Dr. IWANAGA Masa  
Program Director:Dr. YAMAMOTO Yukiyo

Researchers in charge:Dr. TANI Naoki (Forest Division), Dr. KOSUGI Akihiko (Biological Resources and Post-Harvest Division)
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