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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Research Project #439099

Research Project: Quarantine, Germplasm Acquisition/Maintenance, Phytopathology Studies and Clone Evaluation of Theobroma Cacao-Miami

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Project Number: 6038-21000-025-18-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2024

Objective:
1. Provide quarantine services for germplasm of Theobroma cacao and relatives for international distribution. 2. Maintain, enhance and evaluate the germplasm collection of cacao and relatives maintained at Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and Hilo, Hawaii. 3. Research of disease and pest resistance by sequencing the genomes of cacao pathogens and pests, studying the etiology and epidemiology of the diseases and studying the chemical ecology of cacao pests. 4. Conduct cacao performance trials to evaluate newly released clones in farmers' fields in Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Approach:
The primary goal of this project is to develop and disseminate new, productive, disease and pest resistant cultivars of cacao, to provide quarantine services and germplasm maintenance, and to conduct research on cacao diseases and insect pests. Research performed in plant pathology, entomology and practical field selection are all part of a global strategy to develop superior planting material for farmers. Using FAO approved methodologies provide quarantine services for germplasm of Theobroma cacao and relatives for international distribution. Maintain, enhance and evaluate the germplasm collection of cacao and relatives maintained at Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and Hilo, Hawaii. Sequence the genomes of cacao pathogens and pests, studying the etiology and epidemiology of the diseases and studying the chemical ecology of cacao pests. And conduct cacao performance trials to evaluate newly released clones in farmers' fields in Hawaii and Puerto Rico.