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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory

2010 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1. To assess the genotypic differences of cacao and alternate crops to abiotic stresses such as nutrient deficiency/elemental toxicities, and moisture stresses. 2. Cacao and alternate crops management such as cabruca, agroforestry and cover crops systems of cultivations and their impact on the soil quality factors such as soil physical, soil chemical and soil micro, macro and meso faunal activities. 3. To collaborate with Brazilian researchers to acquire and characterize wild cacao germplasm with the purpose of conserving of genetic diversity.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Fundação Pau Brasil actively promotes sustainable cacao production through collaborations with cacao research institutions. This Specific Cooperative Agreement will emphasize the coordination of research approaches of the USDA/ARS and all collaborating institution mentioned here and will promote cacao research and the conservation of unique cacao germplasm. The agreement promotes international partnerships and cooperation with the USDA-ARS.

3. Progress Report
The purpose of this Specific Cooperative Agreement is to provide a mechanism to fund collaborative research on assessment of genotypic differences of cacao and alternate crops to abiotic stresses such as nutrient deficiency/toxicities, drought, and waterlogging. Influence of agroforestry based management systems locally known as Cabruca on performance of cacao and effects on soil quality parameters is being evaluated with Brazilian researchers. This collaborative research project, is conducted with a multidisciplinary team of research scientists from CEPLAC/CEPEC (Comissao Executiva do Plano da Lavoura Cacaueira/Centro de Pesquisas de Cacau) in Itabuna, Bahia, UESC (Universidade Estadual Santa Cruz) in Ilheus, Bahia, Institute of Cabruca, Ilheus, Bahia and the UENF (Universidade Estadual de North Fluminense) Campose, RJ. Cacao genotypic response to waterlogging tolerance was investigated. Inter-genotypic differences to the extent of 30 to 96 % for water logging tolerance were observed. All genotypes displayed lenticel and adventitious root formation in response to waterlogging, although with different intensities. Absence of leaf chlorosis may be a trait to indicate cacao clones with higher survival rates under waterlogging conditions. Such plant traits will be useful to select cacao genotypes that have high tolerance to waterlogging in early growth stages. Agroforestry systems of cacao cultivation appears to mitigate greenhouse gas emission through accumulation of high amount of organic C in the soil and this suggests that agroforestry systems with cacao could have a greater benefit to the environment. The progress of this agreement was monitored by e-mails and phone or personal communications.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 08/21/2017
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