Coconut is the emblematic palm tree of the tropical coastal regions. As a multi-purpose crop, it provides food, shelter and income to millions of resource-poor farmers. The albumen of its fruit can be eaten fresh or dried; the oil extracted from dried albumen (copra) has many uses, from human consumption to soap and cosmetics. Coconut water of immature fruits is a delicious and healthy drink. coconut sap is used to produce alcoholic beverages, sugar and vinegar. The wood, leaves and even roots have multiple uses. Coconut is adapted to poor soils and contributes to the preservation of coastal environment. The welfare of coconut farmers is however under jeopardy due to lethal diseases caused by various pathogens including phytoplasmas.

Species diversity and domestication

Molecular studies covering most of the coconut cultivation area have shown the presence of two highly differentiated genetic groups that most coconut palms fall into two highly differentiated genetic groups that can be traced back to two centers of differentiation. The main one (Pacific) has its origin between South-East Asia and in Papua New Guinea. The other one (Indo-Atlantic) comes from South Asia. Coconut cultivation has contributed greatly to shape its phenotypic diversity and to its pan-tropical distribution. As a result, both groups were put in presence in the Western Indian Ocean, where genetic diversity is especially high. Most coconuts are fast growing and cross-pollinating (Talls). However, a group of closely related cultivars, all belonging to the Pacific group exhas a slow growth habit and exhibits clear signs of domestication, including self pollination.

Links between South Green and Coconut

The platform hosts a database module in TropGeneDB that stores genetic data related to genotyping studies such as ALFP, RFLP and SSR as well as QTLs. South Green is also associated to the project proposal for the Coconut genome sequencing.