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Effect of fruiting traits on the field resistance of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) clones to Phytophthora megakarya

Efombagn M.I.B., Marelli J.P., Ducamp M., Cilas C., Nyassé S., Vefonge D.. 2004. Journal of Phytopathology, 152 (10) : p. 557-562.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0434.2004.00895.x

The effects of some traits of field resistance (precocity and duration of the fruiting cycle, age of diseased fruit and vertical pod distribution on the tree) to Phytophthora megakarya of four known cocoa clones were studied in an on-station clonal plot planted in 1982 in the south-west of Cameroon. Weekly observations of fruit set and development, black pod and rainfall were carried out during three growing seasons (1999, 2000 and 2001). The study confirmed the previous field and laboratory assessments of resistance of these clones based on the mean percentages of rotten pods obtained annually. The present study has permitted the identification of fruit aged 2-3 months as the highly susceptible stage of development in the most susceptible clone. In addition, precocity and pod cycle duration varied significantly among the clones. The earlier the pod cycle began, the more susceptible was the clone: the most resistant clone started flowering 1 month after the most susceptible clone and therefore escaped the peak of disease severity. Rainfall intensity greatly modified the incidence of the disease in 2001, with high yield losses occurring in all four clones (70-93%), but their ranking remained stable over the 3 years. The spatial distribution of pods on the trees showed that pods on the trunk were more likely to become diseased than those on the branches, but its effect as a clone resistance component is variable among the four clones; the resistant clone producing more pods on the trunk and the susceptible clone more in the canopy.

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; résistance aux facteurs nuisibles; phytophthora; clone; variation génétique; fructification; phytophthora megakarya

Article (a-revue à facteur d'impact)

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