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Article

Genetic Purity of Cacao Criollo from Honduras Is Revealed by SSR Molecular Markers

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Cacao and Agroforestry Program, Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Research (FHIA), La Lima Cortés 2067, Honduras
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Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie, Alimentari Ambientali e Forestali (DAGRI), Sezione Colture Arboree, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Viale delle Idee, 30, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
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Rural Development Department, National Autonomous University of Honduras, Regional University Center of the Atlantic Littoral (UNAH-CURLA), Carretera CA-13, Desvio Frente a Maxi-Despensa Aeropuerto, La Ceiba 31101, Atlántida, Honduras
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USDA-ARS Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL 13601, USA
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Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie, Alimentari Ambientali e Forestali (DAGRI), Sezione Scienze Agronomiche, Genetiche e Gestione del Territorio, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Piazzale delle Cascine 18, 50144 Firenze, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gregorio Barba-Espín and Jose Ramon Acosta-Motos
Agronomy 2021, 11(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020225
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 19 January 2021 / Accepted: 22 January 2021 / Published: 26 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Old Germplasm for New Needs: Managing Crop Genetic Resources)
The cultivation of cacao represents an income option and a source of employment for thousands of small producers in Central America. In Honduras, due to the demand for fine flavor cacao to produce high-quality chocolate, the number of hectares planted is increasing. In addition, cacao clones belonging to the genetic group named Criollo are in great demand since their white beans lack of bitterness and excellent aroma are used in the manufacturing of premium chocolate. Unfortunately, the low resistance to pests and diseases and less productive potential of Criollo cacao leads to the replacement with vigorous new cultivars belonging to the other genetic groups or admixture of them. In this study, 89 samples showing phenotypic traits of Criollo cacao from four regions of Honduras (Copán, Santa Bárbara, Intibucá, and Olancho) were selected to study their genetic purity using 16 SSR molecular markers. The results showed that some samples belong to the Criollo group while other accessions have genetic characteristics of “Trinitario” or other admixtures cacao types. These results confirm the genetic purity of Criollo cacao in Honduras, reaffirming the theory that Mesoamerica is a cacao domestication center and also serves to generate interest in the conservation of this genetic wealth both in-situ and ex-situ. View Full-Text
Keywords: population structure; Criollo cacao; microsatellites; genetic purity; Central America population structure; Criollo cacao; microsatellites; genetic purity; Central America
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MDPI and ACS Style

López, M.; Gori, M.; Bini, L.; Ordoñez, E.; Durán, E.; Gutierrez, O.; Masoni, A.; Giordani, E.; Biricolti, S.; Palchetti, E. Genetic Purity of Cacao Criollo from Honduras Is Revealed by SSR Molecular Markers. Agronomy 2021, 11, 225. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020225

AMA Style

López M, Gori M, Bini L, Ordoñez E, Durán E, Gutierrez O, Masoni A, Giordani E, Biricolti S, Palchetti E. Genetic Purity of Cacao Criollo from Honduras Is Revealed by SSR Molecular Markers. Agronomy. 2021; 11(2):225. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020225

Chicago/Turabian Style

López, Marlon, Massimo Gori, Lorenzo Bini, Erick Ordoñez, Erick Durán, Osman Gutierrez, Alberto Masoni, Edgardo Giordani, Stefano Biricolti, and Enrico Palchetti. 2021. "Genetic Purity of Cacao Criollo from Honduras Is Revealed by SSR Molecular Markers" Agronomy 11, no. 2: 225. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020225

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