Genomics of Theobroma cacao, “the Food of the Gods”

  • Mark J. Guiltinan
  • Joseph Verica
  • Dapeng Zhang
  • Antonio Figueira
Part of the Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models book series (PGG, volume 1)


Theobroma cacao, the chocolate tree, is an important tropical tree-crop that provides sustainable economic and environmental benefits to some of the poorest and most ecologically sensitive areas of the world. Recent progress in the development of genomics tools for cacao is reviewed. These include a reference molecular genetic map, simple sequence repeats and other molecular markers, two germplasm databases with microsatellite DNA fingerprints and other molecular data, many quantitative trait loci mapping projects which have identified disease resistance and yield component loci, several expressed sequence tag resources, a cacao microarray, bacterial artificial chromosome libraries, and a genetic transformation system. The evolutionary relatedness of cacao with other important crops and model plant systems positions cacao genomics to play a significant role in translational plant genomics. The future prospects for the contribution of cacao genomics to improvement of this crop for sustainable cacao production and as a tool for poverty alleviation and environmental stabilization are discussed.


Quantitative Trait Locus Simple Sequence Repeat Marker Major Quantitative Trait Locus Simple Sequence Repeat Locus Theobroma Cacao 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark J. Guiltinan
    • 1
  • Joseph Verica
  • Dapeng Zhang
  • Antonio Figueira
  1. 1.Department of Horticulture, Life Sciences BuildingThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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