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New sources of resistance to Phytophthora megakarya identified in wild cocoa tree populations of French Guiana
- Paulin, D., Ducamp, M., Lachenaud, P.
- Crop protection 2008 v.27 no.7 pp. 1143-1147
- Theobroma cacao, trees, genotype, clones, plant rots, Phytophthora, plant pathogenic fungi, disease resistance, French Guiana
- Cocoa black pod rot, a disease caused by oomycetes of the genus Phytophthora, causes substantial yield losses throughout the world, particularly in Africa with the very aggressive species Phytophthora megakarya. In order to reduce the impact of that pathogen, priority is given to genetic control through more resistant cultivars, and breeders are seeking sources of resistance in wild cocoa trees. Wild cocoa trees were surveyed in French Guiana between 1985 and 1995, leading to the collection of abundant plant material from more than 200 mother trees originating from five river basins. We present here the results of tests to assess resistance to the species P. megakarya (a species only existing in Africa), conducted at CIRAD in Montpellier, France, on circa 40 genotypes collected in the Camopi river basin, along with approximately 20 genotypes from other populations (Kérindioutou, Borne 7, Euleupousing, Pina and Oyapok). The strain used for artificial inoculation was NS269, isolated in Cameroon. Seven cacao clones were classified as “highly resistant” and 29 as “resistant”, some of which displayed greater resistance to P. megakarya than the reference resistant clone IMC 47. This study suggests that the wild material from French Guiana could play a significant role in controlling P. megakarya in Africa and also Phytophthora palmivora in all cocoa-producing zones.