David CROS

David Cros




Oil palm geneticist (Yaoundé, Cameroun, 2015-current)   

Oil palm geneticist (Montpellier, France, 2011-2015)  

Oil palm breeder/Geneticist (Pobè, Benin, 2006-2011)          




My researches primarily focus on breeding methodologies for oil palm, in order to maximize the genetic gain. I am mostly interested in quantitative genetics, genomics and statistics applied to plant breeding. 

I am based at the African Center of Excellence in Information and Communication Technologies (CETIC), a training and research center created within the National Advanced School of Engineering of the University of Yaoundé I by the Government of Cameroon, with the assistance of the World Bank.



2017, University of Yaoundé 1: 1 PhD offer, and 1 M2 internship in plant breeding - CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 



PhD studies (2011 - 2014): Factors controling the efficiency of genomic selection in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis)


Agricultural production must increase at an unprecedented rate to meet the strong growth expected in food demand. Genomic selection (GS) could contribute to reaching this goal by allowing selection of individuals on their sole genotype, making breeding more efficient. Breeding for yield in oil palm, the first oil crop in the world, is currently based on hybrid production by reciprocal recurrent selection. The integration of GS to this scheme would have major repercussions. My thesis aimed to assess the potential of GS to predict hybrid combining abilities in parental populations (Deli and group B).

Data from the last breeding cycle were used to obtain the first empirical estimate of GS accuracy. Despite the small populations available to calibrate the genomic model, the study showed that with candidates related to the training population (sibs, progenies), the accuracy was sufficient to make a pre-selection in the group B on some yield components. In addition, simulations over four generations showed that the accuracy of several GS strategies (especially when training the model only in the first generation using hybrid genotypes) was high enough for non progeny tested individuals to allow selecting among them on their genotype. This resulted in an increase of more than 50% of annual genetic gain compared to traditional breeding. A faster increase in inbreeding was also demonstrated, but this could be limited by conventional methods of inbreeding management. Finally, the experimental and simulated data indicated that GS could reduce the average generation interval and increase the selection intensity, vastly speeding up the genetic progress for oil palm yield. The results led to suggest a recurrent reciprocal genomic selection scheme for oil palm.

[quantitative genetics, computer simulation, oil palm breeding, genomic selection]











In the lab


Artificial pollination in oil palm


Oil palm dry seeds

Website Map:

          - PhD thesis (pdf) and PhD defense (video)

          - Powerpoints of conference talks

          - Pictures, posters & animations on oil palm breeding

          - MOLCOANC software (pedigree reconstruction)




See list on CIRAD website (or Google Scholar)




David Cros

CIRAD, Direction Régionale Afrique Centrale
Rue Joseph Essono Balla, BP 2572
Tel.: +237 222 212 541

Department: Biological Systems
Research unit: Genetic improvement and adaptation of mediterranean and tropical plants (UMR AGAP)
Team: Oil palm breeding


Field Picture

In the fields




Il semble que vous naviguiez depuis un appareil de type 'bureau'

Tester plus en détail