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Cacao breeding in Colombia, past, present and future

Rodriguez-Medina C., Caicedo Arana A., Sounigo O., Argout X., Alvarado Alvarado G., Yockteng R.. 2020. Breeding Science, 69 (3) : p. 373-382.

DOI: 10.1270/jsbbs.19011

Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is considered a key crop in Colombian social programs aiming at alleviating rural poverty, promoting peace in post-conflict regions and, replacing crops used for illicit purposes. Colombia is thought to be part of the center of origin of cacao; several germplasm collecting expeditions have been implemented, dating back to the 1940s. Despite that history, the first breeding program based on creating, selecting, and releasing full-sib progenies made extensive use of accessions introduced from other countries as parents. A new breeding strategy was adopted in the 1990s, based on mass selection of promising trees (high-yield and disease-resistant) in farmers' fields, resulting in the selection of clones released to farmers as planting material. In 2012, a new strategy, Recurrent Selection, was adopted by the Colombian Corporation for Agricultural Research, Agrosavia, based on the development of improved populations and allowing the selection of clones at the end of each cycle of recombination. The use of molecular markers is being integrated into this program in order to assist breeders in selecting material. This review provides details about the history and perspectives of the cacao breeding program in Colombia.

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; amélioration des plantes; phytogénétique; amélioration génétique; méthode d'amélioration génétique; colombie

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