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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mayaguez, Puerto Rico » Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316281

Title: Horticultural traits associated with cacao accessions recommended for Puerto Rico

item Irish, Brian
item Goenaga, Ricardo

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/24/2015
Publication Date: 8/4/2015
Citation: Irish, B.M., Goenaga, R.J. 2015. Horticultural traits associated with cacao accessions recommended for Puerto Rico. Meeting Abstract. Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is an important agricultural product from which the international chocolate industry is based upon. Increasing demand for chocolate, especially in emerging markets in Asia, coupled with reduced worldwide production has led to shortfalls in cacao ‘bean’ supplies. Deficits have also been associated with increases in demand for cacao supplying ‘specialty’ or niche market, high-chocolate content bars. The increase demand in cacao for specialty markets, the availability of land, and ideal growing conditions has sparked interest in this agricultural crop in Puerto Rico. The USDA-ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico is responsible for management of the National Plant Germplasm System’s cacao germplasm collection. Research on cacao at this site dates back to the 1930’s and a number of highly productive accessions with associated good quality chocolate are being recommended for planting on the island. The recommended accessions have been evaluated in multi-site trials and phenotypic data (e.g., flower and pod morphology and color) as well as data for number of pods produced in a year, number of seed per pod, seed/pod index values, and quality of chocolate from micro-fermented beans have been determined. Accessions are also being tested for pollen incompatibility and cross-compatibility by carrying out a large number of controlled pollinations. Summarized data for the recommended cacao accessions for the Puerto Rican cacao/chocolate industry is presented. Limited amounts of scionwood for clonal propagation could be supplied for research and educational purposes by contacting the presenting author ( or by requesting the material online via the USDA-ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network