Recent Advances in Sago Palm (Metroxylon Sagu Rottboell) Micropropagation
Pp. 60-66 (7)
Annabelle U. Novero
Metroxylon sagu (sago palm) has long been considered as one of the oldest sources of food for
humans because of the presence of huge amounts of starch in its trunk. Sago palm is an important food
source in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia. Sago palm is increasingly gaining acceptance as an
important food source in southern regions of Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. Hence, more research
efforts toward sago palm breeding and conservation are being conducted. The increasing global pressure to
explore non-traditional sources of food and fuel dictates an urgent focus on sago palm (Metroxylon sagu
Rottboell) biotechnology research. This paper reports the results of a starch yield assessment test among
various sago palm ecotypes: spiny and non-spiny in either mesic or hydric environments to determine the
most suitable sources of explants for in vitro experiments. Although non-spiny sago palms from a mesic
area produced the highest mean starch yield of 64.3 kg, statistical analysis showed no significant differences
in mean starch yield between the four ecotypes. An account of published reports on sago palm
micropropagation is also summarized to give an overview of the status of sago palm biotechnology research.
Breakthroughs in micropropagation will continue to be invaluable until a rapid method of multiplication of
planting materials has been achieved.
Arecaceae, in vitro regeneration, Malasia, Indonesia.
College of Science and Mathematics, University of the Philippines Mindanao; Mintal, Davao City 8022 Philippines