Potassium nutrition in oil palm

Oil palm is the first oil-producing crop globally, representing nearly 20 million ha. In the recent past, oil palm cultivation has been controversial not only because of land utilisation at the expense of primary tropical forests or health concerns associated with palm oil, but also pollution caused by fertilisation (including CO2 produced to synthesise fertilisers). Oil palm fields are heavily fertilised with potassium (K), and thus finding better, more parsimonious methods to monitor K nutrition is more important than ever. Here, we exploit stable isotopes (15N natural abundance), metabolomics and subsequent machine learning of metabolic signatures represent a promising tool to probe K requirements, opening avenues for precision agriculture in oil palm industry. This project is conducted in partnership with the CIRAD (France) and SMART Tbk (Indonesia). From 2021, this project will benefit from the support of the European Union via a Marie Curie grant awarded to Dr Emmanuelle Lamade.


- CIRAD Montpellier (research unit Persyst)