MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION AND DIVERSITY ASSESSMENT OF COCOA GERMPLASM IN THE AMERICAS
Project Number: 1275-21000-177-00
Start Date: Jun 25, 2004
End Date: Aug 25, 2008
To characterize genetic identities of cocoa germplasm and reduce redundancy and misidentifications in international cocoa genebanks; To assess genetic diversity in the Latin American cocoa gene pool and identify possible gaps for potential future collection or acquisition by specific genebanks.
Through a collaborative consortium, cocoa samples will be collected from various cocoa producing countries in Latin America. These samples will be genotyped using DNA fingerprinting technology, including both dominant and co-dominant markers. The generated fingerprints, in combination with germplasm passport data, will be used to verify the genetic identities of cocoa accessions. Analytical tools of population genetics and bioinformatics will be applied to assess the level and pattern of cocoa genetic diversity within and among cocoa genebanks, in farmer's fields, and in natural populations. The resulted data and information will be used to improve the accuracy and efficiency in cocoa germplasm conservation and utilization.