Tessie C. Nuñez and Edwin T. Ocoy
The makapuno-bearing character found only in the cross-pollinated Laguna Tall coconut variety and the self-pollinating character of dwarf coconuts were combined into new makapuno genotypes through hybridization to limit cross pollination which is a problem among tall makapuno palms. F1 hybrids between Coconiño (CÑO) and tall Makapuno (TMAC) and Tacunan (TAC) x TMAC were early-bearing with high intraspadix overlapping percentages of 85.7% and 70.9%, respectively. Mean makapuno yield was 26.8% in CÑO x TMAC and 28.2% in TAC x TMAC indicating the presence of high degree of self-pollination and the dominance of the gene for the trait. In vitro grown homozygous F2 makapuno palms started flowering at 24 months old. F2 CÑO x TMAC (VMAC 1) had a mean yield of 100% makapuno, 49 to 132 nuts/palm/year and nuts weighing 332 to 750g/dehusked nut. F2 MRD x TMAC (VMAC 2) yielded a mean of 97% makapuno, 63 to 163 nuts/palm/year and nuts weighing 288 to 1,180g each. F2 TAC x TMAC (VMAC5) had 95% makapuno, nuts weighing 736g to 1,975g/ dehusked nut. High makapuno yield of the F2 hybrids affirmed the dominance of the gene for self pollination in coconut. Ten month-old nuts of the F2s had at least 18 mm thick meat and Lauric acid (C12) content ranging from 47.10% to 48.60%. The three F2 hybrids were registered with the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) in 2008 as the first homozygous makapuno hybrids in the Philippines.
Key Words: soft-endospermed coconut, intraspadix overlapping, precocity, Lauric acid