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Numerous clones resistant to Phytophthora palmivora in the "Guiana" genetic group of Theobroma cacao L

Thévenin J.M., Rossi V., Ducamp M., Doare F., Condina V., Lachenaud P.. 2012. PloS One, 7 (7) : 6 p..

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040915

Cocoa black pod rot, a disease caused by Stramenopiles of the genus Phytophthora, and particularly by the pan-tropical species P. palmivora, causes serious production losses worldwide. In order to reduce the impact of these pests and diseases, preference is given to genetic control using resistant varieties and, to that end, breeders seek sources of resistance in wild cocoa trees. For instance, surveys of spontaneous cocoa trees in French Guiana between 1985 and 1995 led to the collection of abundant plant material forming a particular genetic group (the ''Guiana'' group). Following numerous one-off studies demonstrating the merits of this group as a source of resistance to Phytophthora, this article presents the results of a comprehensive study assessing the resistance of 186 ''Guiana'' clones in relation to the Guianan strain (GY 27) of P. palmivora. This study, undertaken in French Guiana, using an efficient methodology (ten series of tests and a statistical test adapted to the ordinal nature of the data) confirmed that the ''Guiana'' genetic group does indeed constitute an important source of resistance to P. palmivora, though with some variations depending on the demes of origin. Numerous clones (59) proved to be as resistant as the SCAVINA 6 resistance control, whilst nine were statistically more resistant. The ''Resistant'' and ''Moderately Resistant'' Guianan clones totalled 108 (58% of the total tested). Some of the clones more resistant than SCAVINA 6 could be incorporated into numerous cocoa breeding programmes, particularly those that also display other notable qualities. The same applies for numerous other clones equivalent to SCAVINA 6, especially the ''elite''' clones GU 134-B, GU 139-A and GU 285-A.

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; phytophthora palmivora; résistance aux maladies; génétique des populations; collection de matériel génétique; amélioration des plantes; clone; variété; plante sauvage; guyane française; france

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