Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Research Project #442174

Research Project: Evaluate Wild Cacao Germplasm for Tolerance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses and Develop Genomes and Transcriptomes of Cacao Pathogen Species

Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-303-009-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 31, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2027

Instituto De Cultivos (ICT), in Tarapoto Peru, has the largest collection of living wild Peruvian Theobroma cacao trees in the world. ICT collected these genetic resources In collaboration with ARS from most of the rivers in the Peruvian Amazon. These materials will be utilized to evaluate wild cacao germplasm for tolerance to abiotic stresses, such as drought and identify promising progenitors and rootstocks.

The Cooperator under ARS direction will utilize wild cacao accession in the ICT cacao collection to evaluate native cacao clones for tolerance to drought. Experiments will be established to screen for drought tolerant wild cacao accessions. ARS will provide the Cooperator with funds to support this research effort. Additionally, the Cooperator will provide dried nonviable plant material to ARS to access the genetic diversity in the ICT wild cacao collection and provide ARS with viable samples of the cacao pathogen Rosalina for sequencing and transcriptome data analysis. Furthermore, a core set of the germplasm then will be selected from the ICT Peruvian wild cacao collection and evaluated in Peru in clonal gardens for agronomic traits.