Thursday, February 16, 2006

Genetic Markers Found for Cacao Resistance

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have located genetic markers forresistance to a major disease of cacao trees, the source of seeds for cocoa and chocolate.

The scientists found the markers for resistance to witches’ broom, a diseasecaused by the fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa, the main killer of Theobromacacao trees.

They are presenting this and other research findings during abiennial Symposium on Cocoa hosted by the National Academy of Sciences onFebruary 9-10 in Washington, D.C. Witches' broom penetrates cacao stem and fruit tissue, inhibits formation ofseed pods and destroys mature pods.

Two other major cacao-production problemsbeing addressed by ARS researchers are frosty pod and black pod rot. The symposium, titled "Theobroma cacao: The Tree of Change," featurespresentations on cocoa-related aspects of plant and biomedical science,sustainable agriculture, nutrition, medicine and anthropology, along withround-table discussions on problems and issues facing cocoa-growing regions ofWest Africa, East Asia and the Americas.

ARS geneticist Ray Schnell will describe recent progress in the ongoing cacaobreeding program. Schnell works at ARS' Subtropical Horticulture ResearchStation (SHRS) in Miami, Fla., where he and colleagues are unraveling the genomeof T. cacao.

Traditional cacao breeding programs have been only marginally successful inproducing disease-resistant material that also shows suitable commercialcharacteristics. Since 1999, the SHRS, in collaboration with Mars Inc., ofHackettstown, N.J., have been studying ways to speed up cacao breeding whilereducing costs.

Already, scientists have succeeded in genetically mapping T. cacao species,segregating them according to resistance, and identifying genes that influenceresistance and productivity.

Thus, the use of new genomic technologies will helpensure sufficient cocoa to meet world demands. ARS Deputy Administrator Judith St. John; Wanda Collins, director of the ARSPlant Sciences Institute; and Lyndel Meinhardt, research leader of the ARSSustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., are co-chairing
symposium events.


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AGRI-INFO/SEPTEMBER 16, 2006


TITLE: GENETIC MARKERS FOUND FOR CACAO RESISTANCE TO DISEASE


ALAM BA NINYO NA NAKITA NG MGA EKSPERTO ANG GENETIC MARKERS PARA SA RESISTANCE NG CACAO LABAN SA ATAKE NG PESTE AT MGA SAKIT?

TI NUKOY DITO NG MGA EKSPERTO ANG GENETIC MARKINGS PARA MALABANAN ANG SAKIT NA “WITCHES BROOM”, ANG PESTENG SANHI NG FUNGUS MONILIOPHTHORA PERNICIOSA

ANG NATURANG PESTENG YUN AY SIYANG PANGUNAHING PUMAPATAY SA ISANG URI NG CACAO M- ANG THEOBROMA CACAO TREES.

KAYANG PASUKIN NG WITCHES BROOM ANG PINAKATANGKAY O KATAWAN NG CACAO AT MAGING SA LOOB NG BUNGA NITO. BUKOD DITO NAKATUTOK DIN ANG MGA EKSPERTO LABAN SA FROSTY POD AT BLACK POD ROT.

BAHAGYANG NAGING MATAGUMPAY ANG TRADISYUNAL NA BREEDING PROGRAMS PARA MAGKAROON NG DISEASE-RESISTANCE MATERIAL NA NAGPAPAKITA RIN NG COMMERCIAL CHARACTERISTICS.

NAISAKATUPARAN NAMAN NG MGA SIYENTISTA ANG PAGHIHIWALAY ANG CACAO SPECIES ALINSUNOD SA KANILANG RESISTANCE AT MATUKOY ANG GENES NA NAKAKAIMPLUWENSIYA NG RESISTANCE AT PRODUCTIVITY.

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