PRODUCTION OF GENETICALLY HIGH YIELDING TONGKAT ALI; PROGENY TEST
Mohamad Lokmal Ngah, Mohamad Zaki A, Farah Fazwa MA and Addul Razak Othman
Forest Biotechnology Division,
Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM),
52109 KUALA, LUMPUR,
FEDERAL TERRITORY, MALAYSIA
Growing interest in pharmaceutical industry in the search for natural resources of new drugs has led to intensive and destructive harvesting of many medicinal plants including Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) found in natural forest. Their availability in the forest has been depleted due to over exploitation to cater for the industries. The situation is worsening with very little and limited research fund made available to breeding program. It is projected that many medicinal plant species will be facing extinction or severe genetic loss and shortage of raw materials to the industries would be unavoidable. Any industries must come along with the plantation to ensure consistent and high quality raw materials supplied to then. Success stories in oil palm, rubber and other agriculture industries should be adopted and learned. Establishment of commercial plantation using high yielding planting materials would be a best option. It delivers high return and makes plantation of Tongkat Ali more attractive to public. High yielding planting materials could be produced via appropriate breeding program. One of the quickest ways to serve this purpose is by selecting plus trees from existing plantation and selection from natural populations followed by progeny test to ensure genetic worth of the plus trees. To ensure the stability and adaptability of the planting materials produced from this program, the progeny test will be carried in various locations throughout Malaysia. Ultimately these progeny trials will be converted into Seedling Seed Orchards. The objectives of this project are;
To survey of the existing Tongkat Ali plantation and natural forest.
To select plus trees from the plantation and natural forest.
To establish multi-locations progeny test cum seedling seed orchards.
Research Approach adopted for this study is as follows;
Identifying and selecting wild populations/plantation and phenology observations.
Selection of plus trees from selected and populations.
Seed or wilding collection from plus trees.
Nursery stage. Seeds will be germinated in the nursery. Wildings will be potted and maintain in the nursery.