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Adding value to cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) germplasm information with domestication history and admixture mapping


A sound understanding of crop history can provide the basis for deriving novel genetic information through admixture mapping. We confirmed this, by using characterization data from an international collection of cocoa, collected 25 years ago, and from a contemporary plantation. We focus on the trees derived from three centuries of admixture between Meso-American Criollo and South American Forastero genomes. In both cacao sets of individuals, linkage disequilibrium extended over long genetic distances along chromosome regions, as expected in populations derived from recent admixture. Based on loose genome scans, genomic regions involved in useful traits were identified. Fifteen genomic regions involved in seed and fruit weight variation were highlighted. They correspond to ten previously identified QTLs and five novel ones. Admixture mapping can help to add value to genetic resources and thus, help to encourage investment in their conservation.

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We thank P. Bretting, R. Marckam, T. Hodgkins and E. Rosenquist for providing helpful comments on the manuscript. We thank the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement CIRAD, Fonds Interprofessionnel de la Recherche sur le Cacao FIRC, Ministère des Affaires Etrangers, France and Fondo Nacional para la Ciencia y la Tecnología FONACIT, Venezuela, for their financial support.

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Correspondence to Maria Marcano.

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Maria Marcano and Tatiana Pugh contributed equally to this work.

Communicated by J.-L. Jannink.

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Marcano, M., Pugh, T., Cros, E. et al. Adding value to cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) germplasm information with domestication history and admixture mapping. Theor Appl Genet 114, 877–884 (2007).

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  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Association Mapping
  • Fruit Weight
  • Admix Population
  • Admixture Mapping