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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Develop Sustainable Production System for Tropical Tree Crops and Assess Germplasm to Improve Cacao Sustainability

Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops

Project Number: 1245-21000-266-01
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 01, 2012
End Date: Jun 01, 2015

Objective:
1. Assess cacao genotypes tolerant to abiotic stresses, evaluate the effects of legume cover crops on cacao yields, and develop improved management systems that maintain or improve cacao yields and environmental conditions. 2. Select, establish, and evaluate Peruvian cacao germplasm accessions for improved agronomic traits. An amendment to this agreement was implemented in 2012 to address additional critical needs of the Cooperator with regard to collecting specific data. The laboratory lacks equipment to conduct soil quality determinations and is in need of desiccators (n=4), fraction collectors (n=2), microscope (n=1), and HOBO data loggers (n=6) for monitoring climatic data in cacao genotypes assessment for abiotic stress studies. SPCL will send these items to the Cooperator for the duration of this agreement and the subsequent agreement. Due to the projected use that these items will receive during this project, their value at that time, and the cost to return, it is in the best interest of ARS that the title of these items be vested with the Cooperator at the end of the subsequent agreement.

Approach:
1. Establish controlled and field studies to evaluate native and international cacao clones tolerance to abiotic stresses (drought, light, soil acidity), develop improved field management systems in selected areas of Peru to evaluate their impact on soil quality parameters and yield of cacao, and further evaluate the effects of legume cover crops on factors affecting yields of cacao. 2. Assess genetic diversity in wild populations and farmer selections of cacao using molecular markers. A core set of the germplasm then will be selected and evaluated in clonal gardens and farmers’ fields for agronomic traits.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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