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Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Ciência Rural, 12(52), 2022

DOI: 10.1590/0103-8478cr20210433



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Genetic evaluation and selection of cocoa tree clones

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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The cultivation of cocoa is of great socio-economic importance worldwide. Cocoa beans are the essential raw material for chocolate production. The variability of cacao studied presents only a small fraction of the existing genetic diversity, mainly in the Amazon region. Furthermore, just a small part of this variability has been exploited in cocoa breeding. Thus, the present study processed the genetic evaluation and selection of cocoa clones, based on morpho-agronomical traits. For this, we evaluated 145 clones, during 37 harvests from, four consecutive years. The following traits were evaluated: total number of fruits collected (TNFC), total number of healthy fruits (TNHF), weight of wet seeds from healthy fruits (WWSHF), average weight of wet seeds per healthy fruit (AWWSHF), weight of dry seeds from healthy fruit (WDSHF), average weight of dry seeds per healthy fruit (AWDSHF), percentage of fruits with witches’ broom disease (PFWB), percentage of fruits with borer (PFBR), percentage of fruits with germinated seeds (PFGS), number of branches with witches’ broom disease (NBWB), and number of inflorescence with witches’ broom disease (NIWB). Significant differences (P < 0.05) among the clones were observed for all traits, which reveal an expressive variability and possibility of gains with selection. The highest significant correlations (P < 0.05) occurred between traits TNFC and TNHF (0.94), TNHF and AWWSHF (0.86), and TNHF and AWDSHF (0.86). Based on the selection index, the clones POUND 12 and CAB 12, 228, 253, 257, 258, and 422 were the most suitable for selection.