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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL MARKER ASSISTED SELECTION PROGRAM FOR CACAO Title: Regional selection of hybrid Nacional cacao genotypes in Coastal Ecuador

Authors
item Ramlachan, N - CATIE/USDA-ARS-SHRS, MIA
item Agama, J - INIAP, ECUADOR
item Amores, F - INIAP, ECUADOR
item Quiroz, J - INIAP, ECUADOR
item Vaca, D - INIAP, ECUADOR
item Zamora, C - INIAP, ECUADOR
item Moore, John
item Brown, James
item Schnell Ii, Raymond
item Motamayor, J - USDA-ARS-SHRS/MARS, INC.

Submitted to: Ingenic Newsletter
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 6, 2009
Publication Date: September 28, 2009
Repository URL: http://ingenic.cas.psu.edu/newsletters.htm
Citation: Ramlachan, N., Agama, J., Amores, F., Quiroz, J., Vaca, D., Zamora, C., Moore, J.M., Brown, J.S., Schnell Ii, R.J., Motamayor, J.C. 2009. Regional selection of hybrid Nacional cacao genotypes in Coastal Ecuador. Ingenic Newsletter.

Interpretive Summary: Demand for high flavour “nacional” cacao from Ecuador has been increasing. To recommend high producing plants with a “nacional” genetic background, breeding projects have been performed to select candidates to recommend to local growers. The potential of these cacao plants in these different sites in the coast of Ecuador have to be assessed in order to select plants to distribute to these farmers. In this project, 12 varieties with a “nacional” background, good yield and resistance to diseases were selected to be evaluated in 5 sites from the coastal regions of Ecuador. These 5 sites had a varying climate, rainfall pattern and soil fertility which would affect these varieties reaching their potential production levels during the study period. Farms in Chongon, Naranjal, Calceta, Valle de Patere and Valencia were selected and the plants in the study were observed over 4-5 years and data collected on yield and overall disease status. The best performing plants to be evaluated of Nacional variety were EET-575 (878.9 Kg/Ha/yr), EET-576 (808.4 Kg/Ha/Yr), EET-544 (756.3 Kg/Ha/yr) and EET-558 (751 Kg/Ha/yr). CCN-51 (a non-Nacional genotype) and EET-103 (a Nacional genotype) were used as controls, yielding (1301.1 Kg/Ha/yr) and (918.3 Kg/Ha/Yr) respectively, since they are already being used by cacao farmers in Ecuador. Production also varied by site with Chongon being the highest producing site overall for all tested genotypes. Valle de Patere and Valencia suffered from high disease (82% and 71% sick pods respectively) and this affected overall production levels. Assessing genotypes in the environment in which they are to be grown is very important in making recommendations to local farmers to maximize yield of “nacional” type cacao. Regional trials such as this, are necessary to make more accurate analyses and allow selection of best suited cacao plants for regions in Ecuador that may vary by climate, soil type and geography.

Technical Abstract: Recent international demand for “nacional” flavour cacao has increased the need for local cacao producers in Ecuador to use high-yielding “nacional” hybrid genotypes. The relative potential of cacao genotypes over various environments needs to be assessed prior to final selection of potential candidates. Extensive evaluation of germplasm with Nacional genetic background has been performed allowing for selection of high-yielding, disease resistant clones. We investigate productivity of selected high-yielding clones in five sites within the Ecuadorian Coastal region that vary in climate, soil and temperature. Occurrence of disease, number of sick/healthy/underdeveloped pods, and yield (kg/Ha) were collected to determine performance of these clones. Though genotype is a major factor in evaluating overall productivity, variability in climate, soil type, management practices and genotype x environment interactions also impact productivity. GLM and Mixed Model analysis were used to assess data over 4-5 years. Chongon was the highest yielding site, followed by Naranjal, Calceta, Valle de Patere and finally Valencia. Chongon had the lowest level of % diseased pods (3.2%) while Valle de Patere (82%) and Valencia (71%) had the highest due to high rainfall. The best producing hybrid Nacional clones were EET-575 (878.9 Kg/Ha/yr), EET-576 (808.4 Kg/Ha/Yr), EET-544 (756.3 Kg/Ha/yr) and EET-558 (751 Kg/Ha/yr). CCN-51 (a non-Nacional genotype) and EET-103 (a Nacional genotype) were used as controls, yielding (1301.1 Kg/Ha/yr) and (918.3 Kg/Ha/Yr) respectively, as these are already utilized in production. This report allows for early conclusions on productivity and disease susceptibility of the 12 genotypes used in the 5 sites, with the final aim of recommending the release of the top four high-yielding genotypes with Nacional genetics for use by producers in the coastal regions of Ecuador.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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