Location: Subtropical Horticulture ResearchTitle: Forging New Cocoa Keys: The Impact of Unlocking the Cocoa Bean’s Genome on Pre-harvest Food Safety
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/2013
Publication Date: 7/31/2013
Citation: Kuhn, D.N. 2013. Forging New Cocoa Keys: The Impact of Unlocking the Cocoa Bean’s Genome on Pre-harvest Food Safety. Meeting Abstract. International Association of Food Protection, Charlotte NC July 29-31, 2013.
Technical Abstract: Forging New Cocoa Keys: The Impact of Unlocking the Cocoa Bean’s Genome on Pre-harvest Food Safety David N. Kuhn, USDA ARS SHRS, Miami FL Sometimes it's hard to see the value and application of genomics to real world problems. How will sequencing the cacao genome affect West African farmers? This presentation will explain how the cultivar Matina 1-6's genome was sequenced and how that information has been applied to identify genes involved in pod color. This same approach is currently being used to also identify genes for disease resistance, which will aid in producing higher yielding cacao without the need for pesticide and fungicide application, the first step in pre-harvest food safety. In addition, the basic steps of cacao cultivation, harvest and processing will be presented, with discussion at each step of the effect on food safety. Finally, the future use of the cacao genome sequence to identify genes involved in flavor, drought tolerance and other advantageous agronomic traits will be outlined.