Sime Darby Plantation’s Oil Palm Genome Research Available on Open-access Journal in Support of a Deforestation-Free Industry

For Immediate Release

Sime Darby Plantation’s Oil Palm Genome Research Available on Open-access Journal in Support of a Deforestation-Free Industry
  • Over a decade of research by its R&D team has led to the development of the Company’s latest higher yielding seeds, the GenomeSelect™, recognised by the Edison Award 2017 (Energy and Sustainable Category).

Kuala Lumpur, 26 November 2020 – Sime Darby Plantation (SDP), the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil, today announced the publication of its research and data on the oil palm genome assembly in ‘Plants’ – an international open-access journal published by MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute). It is also available on the website of the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

The publication follows the Company’s announcement in June 2020 when it committed to share its research which will fast-track the work of other researchers to improve oil palm yield and draw the line on deforestation by producing more oil without the need to clear more land.

Dr Harikrishna, SDP’s Chief Research and Development (R&D) Officer, said:

“I am delighted that we are making our genome sequence publicly available. We have successfully improved the existing oil palm genome assembly (published by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board) from 43% to 79% of completeness. This is important because the oil palm genome is a reference map for locating and controlling various key oil palm traits such as oil yield. A more complete map will give a better picture of genetic controls and information on locating other traits more effectively. We hope this data can be utilised by researchers to improve other genomes that are closely related to the palm species, such as date palm and coconut,”

Professor Anthony Sinskey, Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said:​

It is amazing that the team at SDP has put together such a complex jigsaw puzzle. They have put in place chemistry and biology platforms, an informatics team, and a mathematical model to solve this problem and the results are really impressive. The days when companies could expand by going into more land or developing bigger plantations are over. If scientifically sound, scalable, and sustainable innovations like these are taken up by the industry – that will make all the difference,”

Interested parties may view the publication of SDP’s research on oil palm genome which is now available in:

For further information, please contact:
Eliza Mohamed
Tel: 03-78485415 (Off), 012-2193059 (HP)

Azneal Azam
Tel: 03-78485369 (Off), 016-3376160 (HP)

Hisyam Samad
Tel: 0378484410 (Off), 012-6929358 (HP)


Sime Darby Plantation is the world’s largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), with a CSPO production of 2.496 million MT (as at 31 December 2019).

As a fully integrated global plantation company, SDP is involved in various activities along the full spectrum of the palm oil value chain including upstream plantations, downstream operations, Research & Development, renewables and agro-business. Its upstream operations are spread across Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Its downstream business, known as Sime Darby Oils, spans across 16 countries worldwide and involves the manufacturing as well as the sales and marketing of oils and fats products, oleochemicals, palm oil-based biodiesel, nutraceuticals and other palm oil derivatives.

With a workforce of over 88,000 employees and a strong focus on operational excellence, research, innovation and sustainability, Sime Darby Plantation is one of the largest companies on Bursa Malaysia with a market capitalisation of RM35.73bn (USD8.74bn) as at 25 November 2020.

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