Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342126

Research Project: Sustainable Production Systems for Cacao

Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory

Title: Impact of drought on morphological, physiological and nutrient use efficiency of elite Cacao genotypes from Bahia-Brazil, Tarapoto-Peru and Puerto Rico-USA

Author
item Baligar, Virupax
item ALMEIDA, ALEX-ALAN - Universidade Estadual De Santa Cruz
item AHNERT, DARIO - Universidade Estadual De Santa Cruz
item AREVALO-GARDINI, ENRIQUE - Tropical Crop Institute (ICT)
item Goenaga, Ricardo
item ZHENLI, HE - University Of Florida
item Elson, Marshall

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Worldwide, drought is considered one of the most limiting abiotic stress factors for cacao growth, development and production. Climatic changes that are occurring in the tropics such as inconsistent and reduced rainfall patterns, and high temperatures in many cacao growing regions has impacted yields raising major concerns for sustaining cacao production. Very little is known about cacao's ability to adapt to drought. There is an urgent need to identify cacao genotypes with drought tolerance and most of the current cacao germplasm has not been screened for either short or prolonged drought tolerance. A series of greenhouse and growth chamber experiments were undertaken to assess drought effects on early cacao morphological and physiological parameters and nutrient use efficiency of elite cacao genotypes of Brazil, Peru and Puerto Rico. Our findings showed that drought affects the morphology (leaf, stem, and root parameters), physiology (photosynthesis, water use efficiency) and macro-nutrient use efficiency. Cacao genotypes showed varying degrees of intra-specific variations for growth, physiology and nutrient use efficiency. Understanding of plant growth, morphology, physiology and nutrient use efficiency traits influenced by drought will help in identification of cacao genotypes tolerant to drought. Such drought tolerant genotypes could be used in crop improvement programs to breed superior cultivars for any given drought stressed ecosystems.