Cacao trees (Theobroma cacao L.) of the “Guiana” genetic group: “Tanpok 2012” survey
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The wild cacao trees (Theobroma cacao L.) of French Guiana were investigated during several survey and collecting expeditions between 1985 and 1995. The many studies made of this material showed it to be highly original. New surveys were undertaken in May 2012 in south-eastern French Guiana, in the upper reaches of the Tanpok River and some of its tributaries, in order to enrich the cacao collection preserved at the Paracou-Combi site at Sinnamary (French Guiana). One of the aims of the expedition was to determine whether the populations from the upper-Tanpok were original and different from those already represented in the collection. From the 2012 mission four populations were identified. The material collected was described (location, tree and pod morphology). Genetic diversity of the collected genotypes and various controls was studied using SSR markers. The collected trees belonged to the “Guiana” group, but did not reveal any distinctive feature within the group. The genetic diversity encountered was low (He = 0.124). The outcome of these surveys is positive, since new populations were located. In order to preserve and carry out phenotypical studies (agro-morphology) on the new material collected, a plot was planted at Paracou-Combi in January 2013.
KeywordsFrench Guiana Genetic diversity Guiana genetic group Guyane Population structure Theobroma cacao
Our sincere thanks to Messrs J.-L. Sibille and U. Bourgeois, from ONF-Guyane, for providing maps of the survey zone, to our guides Yalali, Tchan, Yani, Lopen and Patrick, to our colleagues E. Nicolini and C. Vincent, for the loan of certain items of equipment, S. Traissac for drawing up the map, I. Scotti for advice and P. Biggins for translating the text. This study was undertaken as part of an ERDF-Convergence 2007–2012 project, “Dicacao” (acronym for “Diversity of wild cacao trees in French Guiana and associated endophytes. Interest and use in disease control”).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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