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Germination response of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic embryo

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JASEM ISSN 1119-8362
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J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manage. October 2017
Vol. 21 (6) 1019-1021
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Germination response of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic embryo
Environmental Biotechnology Sustainability Research Group
Dept. of Plant Biol. and Biotechnology, University of Benin, Benin City
Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin City
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The study investigated the effects of liquid and solid media in the propagation of coconut (Cocos
nucifera) zygotic embryos at initiation stage. Eeuwen’s medium supplemented with growth hormones naphthalene
acetic acid ( NAA) and indole butyric acid (IBA) at different concentrations (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5mg/l) were used
for this experiment in both liquid and solid states. Results showed that liquid state medium was better compared to solid
state, with a successful shoot emergence of 46.7% of inoculants, compared to 13.3% in the solid state. Within 2 – 4
weeks, 77.8% of germinated zygotic embryo developed shoots in the liquid medium compared to 50% rate in the solid
medium. Comparing zygotic embryo development in NAA and IBA, results showed that root yields were better in
NAA, with inoculants in 1.5 mg/l NAA showing profuse rooting compared to 0.5 – 2.0 mg/l IBA with no root
Keywords: Coconut, Eeuwen’s medium, hormones, root yield, zygotic embryo
The coconut palms (Cocos nucifera L.), usually
termed as a “tree of life”, is grown throughout the
tropic regions (Waaijenberg, 1994). Virtually all
parts of the coconut tree are utilized; from the nuts,
husks, inflorescences, stems, and roots. The leaves
are used for roofing and brooms, trunks are used for
construction, and the copra can be processed into oil
mainly for the soap industry, cosmetics, and candle
wax (Campbell et al., 2000). Coconut cultivars are
generally classified into the Tall and Dwarf types.
Tall coconuts grow to a height of about 20-30 m and
are allogamous, late flowering, and their nuts are
medium to large in size; they are hardy and thrive in
a wide range of environmental conditions (Child,
1974). Dwarf coconuts grow to a height of about 10 -
15 m and are autogamous, early flowering, and
generally produce a large number of small nuts with
distinctive colour forms (Child, 1974).
The coconut palm is suffering from drastic
production constraints, including pests and diseases
and susceptibility to natural disasters. In addition, a
number of aging coconut plantations are now being
uprooted in order to make way for the planting of
more portable crops (Muhammed, 2013). Therefore,
there is an urgent need to implement efficient
coconut germplasm via in vitro technique of tissue
culture that allows germination and conversion into
plantlets in a controlled environment.
Embryo culture micropropagation has several
advantages over conventional propagation methods;
for instance, the production of disease free, high
quality planting materials and the rapid production of
many uniform plantlets in a limited space area are
achievable by this technology. In the present study,
West African tall and Malayan orange dwarf zygotic
embryos were used as the explants. Thus, the aim of
this study was to understudy the germination
responses of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic
embryo via liquid and solid nutrient media.
This study was carried out using the facilities of
Tissue Culture Laboratory of the Nigerian Institute
for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin City, Nigeria.
Source of explants: Embryos were obtained from10
to 12 month old nuts, from Nigerian institute for oil
palm research (NIFOR) substation Badagry in Lagos
state. Harvested from mother plant of the West
African Tall (WAF) and Malayan orange Dwarf
(MOD), coconut palms which had been identified to
be highly productive by the plant breeders.
Preparation of culture medium: The basal mediums
used for this experiment were Eeuwens (1976)
medium. The basal mediums were supplemented with
growth hormones (auxins) naphthalene acetic acid
(NAA) and indole butyric acid (IBA) at different
concentrations 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5mg/l. The
medium contained 30g/l sucrose plus 2.5 g/l activated
charcoal, pH was adjusted to 5.7, medium was
prepared without or with agar autoclaved at a
temperature of 121°C for 20 min before use.
Embryo Extraction: The collected nuts (10 to 12
months old) were split transversely using a machete
and endosperm surrounding embryo was excised
from the split nuts using a clean knife, with a method
adapted by (Molla et al., 2004).
Surface sterilization of endosperm extracts: The
endosperm extracts were washed using detergents
and rinsed under a running tap for 10 minutes, they
were further rinsed in the laminar flow chamber with
distilled water and sterilized for 3 minutes in 0.1%
mercuric chloride. The endosperm were thoroughly
rinsed with sterile distilled water, the embryos were
then excised from endosperm using sterile scalpel. A
method adapted by (cutter et al 1954) Cutter.
Thereafter, embryos were then sterilized in 0.2%
sodium hypochlorite for 3minutes, rinsed thrice in
sterile distilled water and inoculated in a liquid
medium and solid medium.
Culture conditions: After two weeks of culture, the
liquid medium was decanted out and the embryos
were transfer into a fresh medium and incubated in
darkness for additional two weeks before transferring
to light. All subsequent in vitro culture was carried
out under dark and light photoperiod, 12-14 and 8-10
hours respectively. After six weeks, embryos that
had started forming shoot were transferred onto semi-
solid medium supplemented with the following plant
growth regulators, naphthalene acetic acid (NAA)
(0.5 2.5 mg/l) and indole butyric acid (IBA) (0.5
2.5 mg/l). Plantlets were transferred onto fresh
medium every four weeks until they developed leaves
and secondary roots.
The culture of zygotic embryos of coconut as
described in this report hold great potential for use in
propagation work. In numerous other difficult-to-
culture crops, using immature embryos and growth
hormones lead to success in the propagation of the
Results showed that the better media state for
inoculation of coconut zygotic embryo was liquid
(Table 1, Plates 1 and 2). Out of the 15 test tubes
inoculated, 60% successfully germinated. This was
determined on the basis of initial root emergence. In
the solid medium, only 26.7% of the inoculated
embryos germinated. Further, 46.7% of the
germinated rooting embryos successfully developed
shoots within 2 – 4 weeks, amounting to a 77.8%
rate, compared to 50% shooting success rate in the
solid medium.
The findings of the present study are similar to the
earlier report of El Rosario and De Guzman (1976)
on the comparative outcome of the use of liquid and
solid media to initiate Makapuno embryos. Similarly,
Thuzar et al. (2012) reported the use of MS medium
for rapid plant regeneration of oil palm zygotic
Table 1: Effect of culture in Eeuwems medium for coconut embryos germination between
Medium Total number of
test tube
Percentage zygotic
germination at 2 –
4 wks (%)
Successful shoot
emergence of
zygotic embryos
b/w 2- 4 weeks
Successful shoot
establishment (%)
No. of contaminated
culture (percentage, %)
15 60.0 46.7 77.8 2 (13.3)
Solid medium 15 26.7 13.3 50.0 8 (53.2)
Plate 1: Zygotic embroyo in liquid medium
Plate 2: Zygotic embryo in solid medium
As presented on Table 2 and Plates 3 – 5, there were
shoot formations from immature zygotic embryos in
some treatments between 4 – 6 weeks. The shoots
were induced in liquid medium containing 1.5 mg/l
of NAA, with the most shoot presence (60%) and the
least shoot presence (20%) at 1.0mg/l concentration.
There were root formations in all the treatments
except 2.5mg/l. The zygotic embryo cultures in IBA
hormone with 2.5mg/l concentration produced shoots
with roots (20%); while those in 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0
mg/l had no shoot and root formation. A similar
observation was reported by Venkatesh et al. (2009)
on the effects of auxins and concentration on
These results probably suggest that the liquid
medium provided optimum uptake of nutrients by the
germinating embryos and also improved gaseous
exchange than solid medium. Embryos were
considered germinated when the plumule sprouts and
the radicle shows signs of emergence as reported by
Danson et al. (2009). By way of comparing; NAA
was more preferred in shoot and root formation from
1.0 -1.5mg/l concentration than IBA.
Table 2: Effect of NAA and IBA concentrations on embryos germination in
liquid medium between 4-6 weeks
Media Total number of
embryos inoculated
Percentage (%)
successful of Shoot development
Root yields
NAA mg/l
0.5 15 0.0 +
1.0 15 20.0 ++
1.5 15 60.0 +++
2.0 15 0.0 +
2.5 15 0.0 -
IBA mg/l
0.5 15 0.0 -
1.0 15 0.0 -
1.5 15 0.0 -
2.0 15 0.0 -
2.5 15 20.0 ++
+ scanty roots, ++ slightly profuse roots, +++ presence of highly profuse roots. – absence of roots
Conclusion: The preference of liquid media in embryonic growth
initiation has been established in this study. Media
supplementation with 1.0 -1.5mg/l NAA is also preferred.
Germinated embryos may then be transferred onto solid medium.
Campbell-Falck, D; Thomas, T; Falck, TM; Tutuo, N; Clem, K
(2000).The intravenous use of coconut palm. American
Journal of Emergency Medicine 18(1):108-111.
Child, R (1974). Coconut Tropical Agricultural Series. Second
edition. Longman Group Ltd, London.
Cutter, VM; Wilson, KS (1954). Effect of coconut endosperm and
other growth stimulants upon the development in vitro of
embryos of Cocos nucifera Botanical Gaz (Chicago) 115:
Danson, K; Quaicoe, R; Dery, S; Owusu-Nipah, J; Amiteye, S;
Malaurie, L (2009). In vitro germination responses and
plantlets development of healthy and diseased zygotic
embryos of coconut accession. International Journal of
Botany 7 (1):26-31.
Eeuwens, CJ (1976). Mineral requirements for growth and callus
initiation os tissue explants excised from mature coconut
palms (Cocos nucifera) and cultured in vitro. Physiologia
Plantarum 36: 23-28.
El Rosario, AG; De Guzman, EV (1976). The growth of coconut
'makapuno' embryos in vitro as affected by mineral
composition and sugar level of the medium during the liquid
and solid cultures. The Philippines Journal of Science
Molla, MMH; Bhuiyan, MSA; Dilafroza, KM; Pons, B (2004). In
Vitro coconut (Cocos nucifera L) embryo culture in
Bangladesh. Biotechnology 3(1):98-101.
Muhammed, NR (2013). Zygotic embryo in vitro culture of Cocos
nucifera L.(sv. East African Tall variety) in the coastal
lowlands of Kenya. African Journal of Biotechnology
12(22):3435 - 3440.
Thuzar, M; Vanavichit, A; Tragoonrung, S; Jantasuriyarat, C
(2012). Recloning of regenerated plantlets from elite oil palm
(ElaeisguineensisJacq.) cv. Tenera. African Journal of
Biotechnology 11(82): 14761 - 14770.
Venkatesh, K; Rani, AR; Baburao, N; Padmaja, G (2009). Effect
of auxins and auxin polar transport inhibitor (TIBA) on
somatic embryogenesis in Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.).
African Journal of Plant Science 3(12):288-293.
Waaijenberg, H (1994). Mijikenda Agriculture in Coast Province
of Kenya: Peasants in between Tradition, Ecology and
Policy. Doctoral Thesis. Wageningen Agricultural
University, Wageningen, the Netherlands. 307p
e 3:
Plant from zygotic
embryo in liquid medium
containing NNA
Plate 4
Plant from zygotic
in liquid medium
containing NNA
Plate 5
Plant from zygotic
embryo in
containing IB
... 28 In addition, older coconut plantations are being removed from the land to make way for more portable crop plantations. Nwite et al. 42 suggest an urgent need to implement efficient coconut germplasm techniques that can be applied to tissue cultures in vitro for germination and conversion into plantlets through controlled environmental conditions. This technique is safe; however, introduction of pathogens and maintaining the cultures free from bacterial, fungal, and microarthropod contamination has been a concern. ...
... Immature embryos and growth hormones have demonstrated successful propagation in culture of zygotic embryos of coconut. 42 The ability of plantlets to acclimate to ex vitro conditions depends on micropropagation; however, some species are more difficult than others in adapting to these conditions which can ultimately affect their rate of survival. Talavera et al. 58 cultured coconut in vitro under three ambient conditions: under fogging chamber conditions, shaded nursery, and nursery with full sunlight, for the purposes of improving ex vitro seedling survival rate. ...
Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), popularly known as the ‘tree of life’, is one of the most important subsistence and commercial palm crops around the world. Global demand for coconut and coconut-based health products is expected to rise with growing populations and industrialization. Coconut cultivation is currently facing biotic and abiotic stressors that are ultimately threatening their productivity and competitiveness. Biotechnology of coconut is now focused on improving various protocols for large-scale propagation in response to persisting problems with coconut somatic embryos and their inefficiency of being converted to ex vitro seedlings. The development and improvement of protocols in the fields of cryopreservation and clonal propagation is currently being investigated. This review aims to provide a summary on current advances in biotechnology-related applications and tissue culture and how their protocols can be improved for a better understanding of coconut quality. This will introduce new ways of collecting and conserving for productive breeding for generations to come.
... Triques et al., 1997 [94] achieved 92% rooting in embryo cultured coconut seedlings by applying 1 mg L −1 NAA. While Nwite et al., 2017 [95] reported that a medium containing 1.5 mg L −1 NAA was beneficial for rooting of micropropagated coconut plantlets. Combinations of PGRs have also been found to be effective. ...
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Coconut [Cocos nucifera L.] is often called “the tree of life” because of its many uses in the food, beverage, medicinal, and cosmetic industries. Currently, more than 50% of the palms grown throughout the world are senile and need to be replanted immediately to ensure production levels meet the present and increasing demand for coconut products. Mass replanting will not be possible using traditional propagation methods from seed. Recent studies have indicated that in vitro cloning via somatic embryogenesis is the most promising alternative for the large-scale production of new coconut palms. This paper provides a review on the status and prospects for the application of somatic embryogenesis to mass clonal propagation of coconut.
Nhằm tạo được cây con có hệ thống rễ phát triển hoàn thiện trong phương pháp nhân giống dừa sáp từ phôi, đề tài đã tiến hành 5 thí nghiệm nghiên cứu các yếu tố ảnh hưởng đến tỷ lệ tạo rễ của cây dừa sáp cấy phôi. Kết quả nghiên cứu đã xác định ở giai đoạn tạo rễ, môi trường Y3 cải tiến kết hợp với 40 g/L đường và sử dụng 5g agar/L là thích hợp cho cây dừa sáp cấy phôi phát triển. Đối với các cây phôi sau 4 tháng nhưng chiều dài rễ nhỏ hơn 5 cm thì sử dụng môi trường Y3 cải tiến + 3 mg/L IAA là thích hợp nhất. Đối với các cây phôi không ngập trong môi trường, áp dụng 2 phương pháp: bổ sung thêm môi trường Y3 cải tiến + 3 mg/L NAA hoặc cắt rễ + môi trường Y3 cải tiến + 3 mg/L NAA, cả hai thí nghiệm cho kết quả tốt. Tuy nhiên, phương pháp cắt rễ phải tốn nhiều thời gian hơn để cây đủ tiêu chuẩn chuyển sang giai đoạn vườn ươm. Khuyến nghị ứng dụng kết quả nghiên cứu này vào trong quy trình sản xuất cây giống dừa sáp cấy phôi tại Việt Nam.
After a short presentation of the technical and legal challenges linked to coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) germplasm collecting, this chapter discusses how emerging ethnological and historical approaches have influenced these collecting activities. Then it discloses (i) the various collecting strategies with emphasis on the collection of germplasm showing tolerance to pests and diseases, (ii) varieties with special traits such as the Compact Dwarfs, and (iii) the contribution of geographical and molecular approaches to germplasm identification. In connection with the launching of the recent strategy of the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT), an attempt is made to estimate what germplasm will need to be collected in the next decade and the expected outcomes in terms of the number of varieties and populations conserved ex situ. It is suggested that global coordination is needed to limit duplication in the COGENT’s ex situ germplasm collections. Also, special attention needs to be paid to strengthen the involvement of farmers and other stakeholders in the collecting activities.
This chapter discusses coconut embryo culture (EC) including the morphology and physiology of the zygotic coconut embryo, culture types and growth conditions, applications such as the use of the EC technique for the collection of germplasm from isolated/distant areas, conservation (cryopreservation) and the dissemination of elite germplasm, and as a starting point for clonal propagation (via somatic embryogenesis). The technique is most commonly recognized for its application to coconut types that generally don’t germinate in vivo. As EC is the foundation tissue culture method for cloning, propagation, conservation, and transformation of coconut, the technique has been widely documented. However, the method is generally underused, and protocols have room for improvement. Key enhancements needed are method optimizations to ensure high survival rates for a wide range of genotypes, in a variety of laboratories. Losses can be high during acclimatization and transfer to field conditions.
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Plant regeneration in oil palm cv. Tenera via somatic embryogenesis was conducted using regenerated plantlets as an explant source. Explants from different positions – apex, middle and basal segments of regenerated plantlets – were cultured in N6 medium supplemented with 100, 120 and 140 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in the presence of activated charcoal. The production of embryogenic calli was affected by 2,4-D concentration and explant position; 2,4-D 120 mg/L was the most effective (62.53%) in inducing embryogenic calli from the basal segment 5 months after inoculation. After 3 months of culture in embryo maturation medium, an average of 36 ± 8 somatic embryos per embryogenic callus was obtained. When transferred to plant regeneration medium for 3 to 4 months, these somatic embryos differentiated into shoots, with ranges of 6 to 40 and 4 to 32 shoots on the medium with and without 2-isopentyladenine (6-dimethylaminopurine) (2iP), respectively. Plantlets (6 to 8 cm height) with balanced shoots and roots were obtained after 12 to 14 months. Histological analysis confirmed the initiation, development and germination of somatic embryos from explants of regenerated plantlets. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) analysis showed the genetic identity and uniformity between the first and second regenerated plantlets at five SSR loci.
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In vitro embryo culture of Cocos nucifera L. was carried out with the aim of determining whether it can be applied as an alternative coconut propagation tool to address the lack of planting materials in Kenya. Zygotic embryos excised from mature healthy pyrenes of high yielding Cocos nucifera L. (sv. East African Tall, a coconut variety from Kenya) were cultured using Murashige and Skoog (MS) culture medium supplemented with plant growth regulators (PGRs) namely 6-benzyl aminopurine (BAP) (0.5 mg/l), naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) (0.5 mg/l), 2,4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) (1.7 mg/l) and indole butyric acid (IBA) (1.7 mg/l). Germination of 84 and 27% embryos were recorded in liquid and semi-solid MS medium, respectively. Embryo cultured in liquid medium and incubated in darkness during the initial four weeks resulted in a germination percentage of 80% while incubation in light resulted in only 30% germination. MS medium was also supplemented with 100, 25, 15 and 0% (v/v) coconut water (CW). Embryo germination was 60% in medium supplemented with 15% (v/v) coconut water although 0% (v/v) gave the highest germination rate at 67%. Medium supplementation by 1.7 mg/l 2,4-D PGR resulted in germination of 30% when plant growth regulator was co-autoclaved and 84% when plant growth regulator was sterilized by microfiltration. The results presented in this study indicate that in vitro micropropagation of the Kenyan variety of Cocos nucifera L. is a feasible alternative.
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Zygotic embryos of BARI Narikel 1, BARI Narikel 2, Srilankan Tall and Malaysian Dwarf were cultured on Y<SUB>3</SUB> basal nutrient medium. Germination percentages of embryos were recorded 93, 96, 89 and 40% in BARI Narikel 1, BARI Narikel 2, Srilankan Tall and Malaysian Dwarf respectively. Germination percentage was different due to the difference of physiological state of the embryos and/or difference in the genetic make up of the genotypes. Most of the embryos developed root and shoots simultaneously and survival rate was more then 60%. Significant difference in plant height, number of secondary roots, length of roots and transferable plantlet were found among the coconut genotypes.
Zygotic embryos of coconut genotypes were screened for their germination response in vitro on PCA, IRD, and CPCRI culture media. Sterilisation of albumen containing embryos with 0.1% mercuric chloride for 10min had better effect on decontamination of embryos compared to parazone containing commercial bleach. Of all media treatments, solid IRD supplemented with 2g/l activated charcoal enhanced high percentage (80-100%) germination of embryos in all the genotypes tested. Germination of embryos occurred simultaneously with roots; however, not all the developing shoots developed roots. Embryos obtained from both diseased palms (trees showing symptoms of the Lethal Yellowing disease) and healthy (control) of WAT, WAT Ex Benin, ADOT and TAGT germinated indicating that disease had no effect on embryo germination. In addition, disease had no significant effect on per cent germination except in ADOT where there was no shoot development in embryos obtained from diseased palms. Successful embryo culture achieved in this investigation will enhance the detection of the phytoplasma (non-culturable, obligate prokaryotes) in developing shoots using molecular analysis which cannot be studied by conventional microbiological techniques.
The phytohormone auxin plays an important role in growth, developmental and physiological processes. The effect of auxins, 2,4-D, NAA, IAA, Dicamba and picloram, was tested for somatic embryogenesis in groundnut. Among the different auxins tested 2,4-D favored the best response of somatic embryogenesis with induction of 18.3 somatic embryos per explant that were big, healthy, succulent and green in color. Immature zygotic embryos axes cultured on MS medium with 4 mg/l TIBA (Auxin polar transport inhibitor) did not respond for somatic embryogenesis but when cultured on medium supplemented with TIBA (2 mg/l and 4 mg/l) and 2,4-D (4 mg/l) showed the induction of somatic embryogenesis. When the concentration of TIBA was increased (6 mg/l) keeping the level of 2, 4-D (4 mg/l l) constant, it resulted in browning of explants within a week of culture. These observations demonstrate the requirement of 2,4-D for induction of somatic embryogenesis and that addition of TIBA (2 mg/l and 4 mg/l) decreases the response of somatic embryogenesis and further higher levels (6 mg/l) being inhibitory for somatic embryogenesis.
1. The best growth in vitro of coconut embryos was obtained in sterile filtered liquid endosperm (milk) from young green coconuts. Heating the "young milk" depressed its growth-promoting activity. 2. Milk from mature coconuts was markedly inhibitory to the growth of excised embryos; the inhibitory factor was heat-stable. 3. Mature cellular endosperm was also inhibitory to embryo growth. This inhibition was greater in the dark than in the light. The inhibitory activity of mature milk was accentuated by the addition of mature cellular endosperm. Young cellular endosperm did not inhibit embryo growth. 4. These experiments suggest that factors inhibitory to the growth of coconut embryos may develop in the milk and solid endosperm of coconut as the fruit matures and may function in initiating and maintaining the dormancy of the embryo.
Growth of stem, leaf, and inflorescence explants from mature coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) palms on a new mineral formulation (Y3) was superior to that on the minerals of White, Heller, or Murashige and Skoog. Cell division in the upper part of cultured explants gave rise to a layer of white callus within a month. The effects of omitting entirely or altering the concentration of individual elements in the Y3 formulation were investigated. It was concluded that growth on White's and Heller's minerals was seriously limited by deficiencies in macro-elements, i.e. nitrogen (particularly ammonium), potassium and phosphorus, as well as micro-elements, i.e. iron, iodine and molybdenum. The Murashige and Skoog formulation, on the other hand, was deficient only in certain micro-elements (particularly iodine).
The Mijikenda live in the hinterland of the southern Kenya coast. They are peasants with small farms growing maize, rice, cassava and cowpea, coconut palms and cashew or fruit trees for the household and the market. A few households own cattle, most keep some goats or sheep and nearly all have a flock of chickens. As the farms are small and the yields of the crops and livestock low, most households have one or more members with off-farm work in the coastal towns. The Mijikenda are generally considered as traditionalists who are reluctant to adapt their society and agriculture to the ways of tomorrow.Between 1981 and 1985 a series of field studies was conducted to describe and analyse Mijikenda agriculture, to identify bottlenecks limiting its performance and, if possible, to explore ways for its future development. The studies combined a farming systems approach with awareness of the constraints imposed by ecological conditions and the role of historical processes in shaping today's reality. The research methods included literature review, formal and informal interviews, qualitative and quantitative observations in farmers' fields, and several small researcher-managed experiments in farmers' fields. The work was concentrated in four villages in the area around Kaloleni, Kilifi District, Coast Province of Kenya.After an introduction about the Mijikenda people and the research approaches, the results are presented in five papers. The first is a collection of short stories about one day in the life of a typical household on a typical farm just south of Kaloleni. The narratives introduce the principal actors and show the stages on which they perform the play called agriculture. It is argued that stories belong not only to fiction but can also be used as research and extension tools.The second paper goes back into history and reveals remarkable patterns of change in the traditional society and agriculture of the Mijikenda people. Within a couple of centuries the actors, the stages and the play have been transformed almost beyond recognition. These changes are all the more striking against the background of apathy often attributed to Mijikenda farmers.In the third paper the present agriculture in the Kaloleni area is described, both as a spatially differentiated land use determined by ecological conditions and as farms characterized by a pattern of settlement, the composition of the household and the organization of the fields. It is explored whether all farms studied are similar or whether distinct classes of farms or farming systems can be distinguished. The implications of the coincidental and deliberate differences are discussed in terms of prospects and strategies for the future.The fourth paper presents a case study of maize production in the Kaloleni area, the major maize growing area of Kilifi District and Coast Province. In the 19th century maize replaced sorghum and millet as the staple food of the Mijikenda. Various aspects of maize production are examined, from the choice of planting material to the use of the harvest, and from ecological bottlenecks to food security. At present, productivity is low and research and extension efforts are poorly focused, but there are options for improvement.The last paper deals with the coconut palm, the dominant element in many landscapes and the economic mainstay of numerous farmers. Although also attention is paid to ecological and agronomic aspects of the crop, the emphasis is on the conflicting uses of the palm, for the harvest of nuts, the production of copra or the tapping of palm wine. On the latter the Mijikenda and the Government have often held diametrically opposed viewpoints. For more than a century more energy has been spent on bickering about the abuse of palm wine than on improving the cultivation of the palm or marketing its other products.The general discussion touches on the methodologies used and suggests improvements. It also ventures to translate the acquired understanding of past and present agriculture into pathways and scenarios for the future. There is ample evidence that the Mijikenda have never let their traditional attitude obstruct necessary or profitable changes. Soil and rainfall conditions limit the distribution and productivity of farm activities, but the Mijikenda have developed numerous agronomic practices that are well adapted to the various ecological niches of their area. There is a need for appropriate research, extension and marketing policies and practices, i.e. ones that take account of the requirements and opportunities of the Mijikenda.
Medical resources routinely used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients may be limited in remote regions of the world. When faced with these shortages, physicians have had to improvise with the available resources, or simply do without. We report the successful use of coconut water as a short-term intravenous hydration fluid for a Solomon Island patient, a laboratory analysis of the local coconuts, and a review of previously documented intravenous coconut use. Copyright (C) 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.
Coconut Tropical Agricultural Series
  • R Child
Child, R (1974). Coconut Tropical Agricultural Series. Second edition. Longman Group Ltd, London.