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Genetics & Plant Breeding Division



Mission

Develop and supply coconut growers with cultivars capable of producing higher yields with greater tolerance to biotic an abiotic stresses, assure the distribution of superior quality improved planting material and encourage growers to plant them.

Staff

Research
OIC/Senior Geneticist and Plant Breeder Dr. M K Meegahakumbura, PhD ( University of Chinese Academy of Science)

Geneticist and Plant Breeder

Dr. H D M A C Dissanayake, PhD University of Tsukuba Japan

Geneticist and Plant Breeder Mr. S N G C Ruwan Kumara, MSc
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Technical (Research)
Experimental Officer Ms. W B M S S Fernando
Senior Technical Officer Mr. H M N B Herath,
(Diploma in Agriculture)
Senior Technical Officer Mr. S A S Chandrasiri, BIT (UCSC)
Technical Officer Mr. A A Fernando,
(Diploma in Agriculture)
Technical Officer Mr. U D C S Kumara,
(Diploma in Agriculture)
Technical Officer Mr. M.M. Hettiarachchi
Non Research
Management Assistant Miss. S.S.R Fernando
Lab & Field Assistant Mr. M A R T Senaratne
Senior Lab & Field Attendant Mr. W. Wimalasiri
Lab & Field Attendant Mr. J M A S Kumara
Lab & Field Attendant Mr. M M T Kumara
Lab & Field Attendant Mr. G D A Milroy
Lab & Field Attendant Mr. T A S R P Thenuwara
Seed Certification Unit
Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. L M S R Jayathilake, MSc
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Assistant Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. D M L Amarasiri, BSc (Agric)
(University of Ruhuna, SL)
Assistant Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. P G R S Premathilake, BSc (Agric)
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Assistant Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. R I B C T Herath, MSc
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Assistant Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. M N Nadeeranga, BSc (Agric)
(University of Ruhuna, SL)
Assistant Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. L J Saman, BSc (Agric)
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Assistant Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. A S Jayasundara, MSc
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
Assistant Seed & Seedling Production & Certification Officer Mr. R C M Wijerathne, MSc
(University of Peradeniya, SL)
General Worker (Office Attendant) Ms. D M R Chandani

Research Highlights

  • Revealing amount and distribution of genetic diversity, genetic base and genetic relationships of Sri Lanka and world collection of coconut using molecular marker types; SSRs and AFLPs
  • Development of brown dwarf hybrids and field evaluation in multilocational trials
  • Acquisition of 24 exotic coconut varieties from India, Papua New Guinea, and Ivory Coast
  • Identification of new coconut forms from Unawatuna area
  • Validation of DArT markers for coconut and establishment of the genetic relationships among a world collection of coconut accessions with DArT markers
  • Development of new coconut hybrids with exotic pollen and field evaluation in multilocational trials
  • Development of new coconut cultivars for heterosis and tolerance to Aceria mite with local and exotic gene bank material

Achievements

  1. Release of coconut cultivar; Tall x Tall or CRIC60 and establishment of two seed gardens (Ambakelle and Maduru Oya) for mass production of seed nuts
  2. Release of two hybrids; Green Dwarf x Tall and Yellow Ddwarf x Tall (CRIC65) and expansion of Ambakelle seed garden for mass production seed nuts
  3. Release of coconut hybrid Tall x San Ramon or CRISL98 and establishment of a seed garden for mass production of CRISL98 seed nuts (Pallama)
  4. Release of coconut hybrid "Kapruwana" or Green Dwarf x San Ramon Confirmation of the superiority of Dwarf x Tall hybrid over the tall cultivars even in marginal soils under average management conditions
  5. Identification of the causative agent of the Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease (WCLWD)
  6. Collection and conservation of over 100 germplasm of local and exotic origin

On Going Research

  • Evaluation of progenies arising from various crossing combinations of Tall, Dwarf and San Ramón in Multi-locational Trials (CRIC60, CRIC65, Kapruwana, and CRICSL98)
  • Evaluation of the performance of new improved cultivars; CRISL98 and Kapruwana in farmers' fields (CRISL98 and Kapruwana)
  • Evaluation of Brown Dwarf crosses in Multi-locational Trials (Brown Dwarf x Tall, Brown Dwarf x San Ramon, Tall x Brown Dwarf, CRIC60, CRIC65, CRSL 98 and Kapruwana)
  • Pollination of Tall and San Ramon with Brown Dwarf pollen and evaluation of Brown Dwarf crosses in Farmers' fields (Tall x Brown Dwarf and San Ramon x Brown Dwarf)
  • Evaluation of new coconut hybrids developed with pollen of three exotic coconut varieties imported from Ivory Coast for hybrid vigour in research and farmers field
  • Development of new coconut hybrids using gene bank material to assess the hybrid vigour and tolerance to Aceria Mite
  • Production of Dwarf x Dwarf hybrids for planting in urban home gardens
  • Collecting and conserving of coconut germplasm for future utilization in breeding
  • Construction of a coconut genome map
  • Diagnosing etiology of unknown coconut disorders using molecular tools
  • Screening and breeding coconut for tolerance to WCLWD
  • Development of Dwarf × Dwarf hybrids for urban home garden

Awards

  • M.K. Meegahakumbura received the award for the best presenter at Prof. Wu Zhang Yi memorial Academic Symposium for Postgraduates; Kunming Institute of Botany; Chinese Academy of Science-2015
  • M.K. Meegahakumbura received the award for “Excellent student – University of Chinese Academy of Science (2014-2015)

  • Dr. L. Perera received  the award for Lifetime Research Excellence in coconut research, at the 5th Plantation Crops Research Symposium - 2014
  • Dr. L. Perera received a merit award for scientific publications
  • Dr. L.Perera and M.K. Meegahakumbura received National Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research for the “Identification of the causal agent of the WCLWD” awarded by Council for Agricultural Research Policy, Sri Lanka (SLCARP)-2014
  • M.K. Meegahakumbura received the third prize for presentation at the Annual Symposium of the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species; Kunming Institute of Botany; Chinese Academy of Science-2014
  • Dr. S A C N Perera received the award for excellence in research at CRI during 2012-2013, awarded at the 5th Plantation Crops Research Symposium (2014).
  • Dr. S A C N Perera received a National award for excellence in agricultural research for the research project titled, ‘Assessment of the Genetic Diversity of Coconut with Special Reference to Phenotypes in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka’  awarded by the Council For Agricultural Research Policy, Sri Lanka (SLCARP).
  • Dr. S A C N Perera received the Best paper and the presentation award in the coconut sector at the 5th Plantation Crops Research Symposium (2014).

  • Dr. L. Perera won the second place in the award scheme for selecting outstanding scientists in coconut research in 2012
  • M.K. Meegahakumbura received best presenter merit award at the Annual Symposium of Young Scientists forum of the National Science and Technology Commission-2012

  • Dr. L Perera received the Endeavour Post-Doctoral research fellowship Australia (2010)

  • Dr. L. Perera received the presidential research award for publications in  2009

  • Dr. L. Perera received the presidential research award for publications in  2008
  • Ms. H.D.M.A.C. Dissanayaka received the silver medal for the best paper presentation at the 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crops Research in 2008

  • Dr. S.A.C.N. Perera received the award for the best presenter in the genetics session at the Annual Congress of the Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture.

  • Dr. L. Perera received the presidential research award for publications in 2003.

  • Dr. L. Perera received the presidential research award for publications in 2002

Recent Publications

  1. ADNT Kumara, L Perera, MK Meegahakumbura, NS Aratchige, LCP Fernando (2015) Identification of Putative Vectors of Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease in Sri Lanka In: new Horizons in Insect Science: Towards Sustainable Pest Management, Springer India pp: 137-146
  2. SACN Perera, HMNB Herath, HTR Wijesekera, WGR Subhathma and WATL Weerakkody (2015). Evaluation of Coconut Germplasm in Weligama and Matara area in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka for Resistance to Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease. In print Cocos: 20.
  3. SACN Perera, GK Ekanayake, HMNB Herath (2015). An investigation of the tender nut potential of diverse coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) varieties/forms in Sri Lanka. CORD39-45

  1. SACN Perera, H.D.M.A.C. Dissanayaka, H.M.N.B Herath, M.G.M.K. Meegahakumbura and L Perera (2014) Quantitative analysis of nut yield and fruit components in conserved indigenous coconut germplasm in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Biodiversity. vol. 2014, Article ID 740592, 5 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/740592.
  2. Perera A A F L K. Selection of coconut cultivars for organic production Chapter 3; In: organic coconut production in Sri Lanka, Eds. H P M Gunasena, H A J Gunathilake and J M D T Everard, Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka. (ISBN 978-955-9013-14-3 May, 2014)
  3. SWGC Ruwan Kumara, HDMAC Dissanayaka, MGMK Meegahakumbura, L Perera (2014) Response of Coconut Hybrids with Different Origins to Stress Conditions during Early Growth Stage in Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the 5th Plantation Crop Research Symposium, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  4. Perera SACN (2014). Chapter 11: Oil palm and coconut. In: Alien Gene Transfer in Crop Plants, Volume 2,Achievements and Impacts, Eds. Aditya Pratap and Jitendra Kumar, Springer Publishers, USA (ISBN 978-0-387-77593-7)
  5. LCJ Kamaral, SACN Perera, KLNS Perera and PN Dassanayaka (2014). Genetic Diversity of the Sri Lanka Yellow Dwarf Coconut Form as Revealed by Microsatellite Markers. In print. Tropical Agriculture Research Volume 26.
  6. SACN Perera, G K Ekanayake, P N Dassanayake and J M D T Everard. (2014) Characterization of Newly Classified Coconut Forms in Sri Lanka for Fruit Morphology and Variation at SSR marker Loci. Proceedings of the fifth Plantation Crop Research Symposium pp 29-38

  1. L Perera, S R Sarathchandra and I R Wickramananda (2013) “Screening Coconut Cultivars for Tolerance to Infestation by the Coconut Mite, Aceria guerreronis (Keifer) in Sri Lanka”. CORD: 29 (1): 46-51
  2. Wijesekara, H T R, Perera L, Meegahakumbura M K, Dassanayake, E M and Ranasingha C (2013). Serological and Molecular techniques. Gunasena H P M et al. (Eds.), Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease: Six Years After, Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka. (ISBN 978-955-9013-10-5, March, 2013)
  3. Suhair, F. S., Perera SACN, Vivehananthan, K (2013) Evaluation of Genetic Variation of Exotic Coconuts (Cocos nucifera L.) Using SSR Markers. Proceedings of the 12th Agricultural Research Symposium of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka.
  4. Perera S.A.C.N., and Dissanayaka, H.D.M.A.C. (2013). Management of the Weligama coconut leaf wilt disease: Screening and Breeding Coconuts for resistance/tolerance to WCLWD. In Wiligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease- Six years after. Eds, HPM Gunasena, H. A. J. Gunethilake, L. C.P.Fernando, J.M.D.T. Everard and P.A.H.N. Appuhamy.Coconut Research Institute pp. 96-106Weligama Wilt after 06 years

  1. L.Perera, M. K. Meegahakumbura,  H. R. T. Wijesekara,  W.B.S. Fernando and M. J. Dickinson (2012) A Phytoplasma is associated with the Waligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease in Sri Lanka. Journal of Plant Pathology 94(1): 205-209
  2. S C Fernando, E S Santha, S A C N Perera, H D M A C Dissanayake, M K Meegahakumbura and L Perera (2012) In Vitro Characterization of Indigenous Coconut Varieties (Cocos nucifera L.) of Sri Lanka for Water Stress Tolerance.  CORD: 28(2): 55-63
  3. H D M A Dissanayake, R B Attanayake, A A Fernando, R Jayathilake, M H L Padmasiri, H M N B Herath, S A S Chandrasiri, S A C N Perera, M K Meegahakumbura and L Perera (2012). Development of promising coconut hybrids utilizing novel brown dwarf coconut variety, 4th Plantation Crop Research Symposium 20-21 September, Thaj Sanudra Hotel, Colombo.
  4. Meegahakumbura M. K., Perera, L., Wijesekara, H. R. T., Fernando, W.B.S., Kalani, N.G.A., M. J. Dickinson (2012) PCR based detection of Waligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease. Proceedings of the young Scientist Forum Symposium, National Science and Technology Commission Sri Lanka, pp: 16

  1. Perera L, Luc Baudouin, Roland Bourdeix, Anwar Bait Fadhil, Fabien C.C. Hountondji and Abdulaziz Al-Shanfri (2011) “Coconut Palms on the Edge of the Desert: Genetic Diversity of Cocos nucifera L. in Oman” CORD 27 (1): 9-19

  1. Mauro-Herrera M, Meerow A W. Perera L, Russell J and Schnell R J (2010) Ambiguous genetic relationships among coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) cultivars: the effects of out-crossing, sample source and size, and method of analysis. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 57 (2): 203-217
  2. Perera L, Meegahakumbura MK, Wijesekara HTR, Kalani NGA, Munasing CE, Fernando WBS, Dickinson MJ (2010) In: George VT, Krishnakumar V, Augustine JB, Niral V, Josephrajkumar A (eds) Proceedings of the International Conference on Coconut Biodiversity for Prosperity. Niseema Printers and Publishers Kochi–18, India, p 146
  3. Perera, SACN (2010). QTL analysis in coconut via genome mapping: Principles, requirements and prospects.  Cocos: 20 pp 57-65
  4. Ekanayake, GK, Perera, SACN, Dassanayake, PN, Everard, JMDT (2010). Varietal classification of new coconut (Cocos nucifera l.) forms identified from Southern Sri Lanka. Cocos: 19 pp 41-50
  5. S. A. C. N. Perera (2010) Chapter 8 Coconut. In book titled 'Technological Innovations in Major World Oil Crops' Ed. S.H. Gupta. Springer Publications. USA (ISBN 978-1-4614-0355-5)

  1. Vadamalai, G., Perera, L., Hanold, D., Rezaian, M.A. and Randles, J.W. (2009). Detection of Coconut cadang-cadang viroid sequences in oil and coconut palm by ribonuclease protection assay, Annals of Applied Biology, 154 (1): Pp. 117-125.
  2. Mauro-Herrera, M., Meerow, A.W., Perera, L., Russell, J. and Schnell, R.J. (2009). Ambiguous genetic relationships among coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) cultivars: the effects of out-crossing, sample source and size, and method of analysis. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (DOI 10.1007/s10722-009-9463-x, Published online).
  3. Perera, L., Perera, S.A.C.N., Bandaranayeke, C.K. and Hugh Harries. (2009). Coconut Chapter 12; In: Oil Crops, J Voll and I Rajcan (Eds.), Springer Publishers, USA. (ISBN 978-0-387-77593-7, August, 2009).
  4. Perera, K.N.S., Perera, S.A.C.N. and Vivehananthan, K. (2009). Detection of Microsatellite marker segregation in an F2 population of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.).
  5. Perera, S.A.C.N., Ekanayake, G.K., Attanayake, R.B. (2009). Characterization of Conserved Coconut Germplasm in Sri Lanka with Morphological Descriptors, CORD, 2009, 25 (1): Pp. 46-53.
  6. Perera, S.A.C.N. and Ekanayaka, G.K. (2008/2009). Characterization of Sri Lankan indigenous coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) varieties for diversity in quantitative morphology, Tropical Agriculturist, 157: Pp. 25-42.

  1. Dissanayaka, H.D.M.A.C., Perera, S.A.C.N., Fernando, W.B.S., Attanayake, R.B., Meegahakumbura, M.G.M.K. and Perera, L. (2008). Evaluation of the comparative performance of five commercial coconut cultivars under two different agro-ecological zones in Sri Lanka, Proceedings of the Plantation second Plantation Crop Research Symposium, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka. A Ninanayaker and E Jayamanne (Eds.), Samayawardena printers, Colombo.
  2. Wijesekara, H.T.R., Perera L., Wickramananda, I.R., Hearth, I., Meegahakumbura M. K., Fernando, W.B.S. and De Silva P.H.P.R. (2008). Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease: A new disease in Southern Sri Lanka, Proceedings of the Plantation second Plantation Crop Research Symposium, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka. A Ninanayaker and E Jayamanne (Eds.), Samayawardena printers, Colombo.
  3. Perera, P.I.P., Perera, L., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J.L., Yakandawala, D.M.D. and Weerakoon, L.K. (2008). Use of SSR markers to determine the anther-derived homozygous lines in coconut, Plant Cell Reports, 27: Pp. 1697-1707.
  4. Perera, S.A.C.N., Pooni, H.S. and Kearsey, M.J. (2008). Chromosome Substitution Lines for the analysis of heterosis in Arabidopsis thaliana, Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 36(4): Pp. 275-280.
  5. Perera, S.A.C.N. and Kilian, A. (2008). Diversity arrays technology: A high throughput molecular marker system for coconut, Pragna xix (1) (Special issue), Pp. 60-64.
  6. Kamaral, L.C.J., Perera, S.A.C.N. and Attanayake, D.P.S.T.G. (2008). Molecular Evaluation of different morphotypes of the coconut variety Sri Lanka Yellow Dwarf, Proceedings of the 8th Agricultural Research Symposium, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, University of Wayamba, Pp. 149-153.

  1. Kumara, P.M.U.S., Perera, S.A.C.N. and Fernandopulle, M.N.D. (2007). Evaluation of Morphological differences between Green Dwarf x Sri Lanka Tall and Yellow Dwarf x Sri Lanka Tall Hybrids of Coconut, Proceedings of the 7th Agricultural Research Symposium, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, University of Wayamba, Pp. 136-138.

  1. Perera, L., Bandaranayake, C.K. and Perera, S.A.C.N. (2006). Molecular markers in coconut breeding: Current status and future possibilities, Proceedings of the symposium on "Application of Biotechnology in Agriculture", Hector Kobbakaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Colombo, Pp. 14-19.
  2. Kumarasinghe, W.M. Perera, S.A.C.N. and Gunasekara, T.M.C.P. (2006). Evaluation of morphological differences and yielding ability of nut colour based phenotypes of Sri Lanka tall coconut, Proceedings of the 6th Agricultural Research Symposium, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, University of Wayamba, Pp. 307-310.
  3. Perera, S.A.C.N., Wilkes, T.M. and JKearsey, M. (2006). More precise QTL mapping using STAIRS, Tropical Agricultural Research, 18: Pp. 227-236.
  1. Perera, L. (2005). Genetic Diversity and relationships of coconut revealed by microsatellite markers, In: Plant Genome: Biodiversity and Evolution, Vol. I Part B, Phanerogams (Higher Groups). A.K Sharma and A. Sharm (Eds.),. Science Publishers Inc., USA. (ISBN 1-57808-352-2, March, 2005)..
Last Updated on Monday, 21 August 2017 09:43  

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