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The role of gene banks in preserving the genetic diversity of cacao

Code: 9781838793517
Lambert A. Motilal, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

Chapter synopsis: Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is an important tree crop for millions of farmers and for the multi-billion dollar chocolate industry but is derived from a limited genetic diversity. The centre of diversity of cacao is being deforested, thereby increasing genetic erosion, but fortunately a wealth of genetic diversity exists in global cacao collections. This chapter discusses the role and types of gene banks to capture genetic diversity. The chapter deals with the distinction between cacao gene banks and other gene banks and examines how this affects the management and estimation of genetic diversity. The chapter advocates an SNP panel for fingerprinting and addresses molecular marker-assisted management with the objective of comparing global collections and formulating a core collection.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0021.03
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 History of cacao collections 3 Gene bank concepts 4 Crux of conservation 5 Gene pool coverage 6 Techniques for conserving cacao germplasm 7 In situ and ex situ gene banks 8 Status of cacao field gene banks 9 Assessing genetic diversity 10 Curating field gene banks 11 Genetic diversity in cacao collections 12 Core and minicore 13 Future trends and conclusion 14 Where to look for further information 15 Acknowledgements 16 References

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