Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm ResearchTitle: Yield performance of cacao propagated by somatic embryogenesis and grafting Author
Submitted to: Interamerican Society of Tropical Horticulture Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/4/2013
Publication Date: 9/2/2013
Citation: Goenaga, R.J., Guiltinan, M., Maximova, S. 2013. Yield performance of cacao propagated by somatic embryogenesis and grafting. Proceedings 59th Annual Meeting of the Interamerican Society of Tropical Horticulture. Page 98. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Twelve cacao (Theobroma cacao) clones propagated by grafting and somatic embryogenesis and grown on an Ultisol soil were evaluated for five years under intensive management at Corozal, Puerto Rico. Preliminary data showed no significant differences between propagation methods for yield of dry beans however, the Year x Propagation Method interaction was significant. Average yield across clones for both propagation methods was 2,007 kg/ha/year of dry beans. There was a highly significant clone effect. TARS-1, a high-yielding selection released in 2009, was the top yielder averaging 2,538 kg/ha/year of dry beans. However, this yield was not significantly different than that of TARS-30, TARS-13, TARS-14, and TARS-2 which averaged 2,319 kg/ha/year. These clones were also released in 2009 as high-yielding selections. Propagation method had a significant effect on pod (fruit) production averaging 49.4 and 46.9 pods per tree in clones propagated by somatic embryogenesis and grafting, respectively. TARS-13 and TARS-30 had significantly higher number of pods averaging 73.6 pods/tree. Propagation method also had a significant effect on pod index averaging 37.7 and 33.3 in clones propagated by somatic embryogenesis and grafting, respectively. TARS-31 and Scavina-6 had the highest pod index averaging 48.9 whereas TARS-1, TARS-23, TARS-2, and UF-668 had significantly lower pod indices, averaging 23.9. Our preliminary data from this study suggest that somatic embryogenesis is a viable and reliable propagation method for cacao.