2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. To develop single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) resources for the molecular characterization Theobroma cacao germplasm. This approach will utilize cacao accessions that have been shown to have different physiological, morphological and molecular characteristics. Random SNP analysis of the entire genome is hypothesized to greatly facilitate the identification of molecular markers for particular traits of interest. These markers will improve the efficiency and reliability for cacao genotyping and utilization of cacao germplasm in breeding programs. Furthermore, this technology could greatly improve our understanding of the genetic diversity that exists in the cacao population and thus promote rational conservation of cacao genetic resources.
2. To develop genomic and expression bases analyses of Theobroma cacao germplasm.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
CIRAD actively promotes sustainable cacao production through cacao research. This specific cooperative agreement (SCA) will emphasize the coordination of research approaches of the USDA/ARS and CIRAD and promote the use of new technological breakthroughs such as SNP analysis to improve the utilization and conservation of unique cacao germplasm. The agreement promotes international partnerships and cooperation with the USDA-ARS.
Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers developed and mapped through this project are being used to separate all of the known cacao types into their basic population groups and their use is documented in the parent project. The majority of the markers were delivered in the first year of the project. The first round of screenings yielded 53 useful markers. A second round of marker screenings is currently being evaluated.