Screening for Resistance to Black Pod Disease
The susceptibility of most commercial cacao varieties to Black Pod disease poses a challenge to cocoa farmers. Cultural and chemical control methods are costly, and the use of fungicides may have adverse environmental effects. The development of resistant varieties is considered to be the most cost effective and reliable method of control, however, only a few tolerant genotypes are available in most research stations in cocoa-producing countries as sources of resistance to BP. This limits the potential to breed for resistance to Black Pod disease and highlights the need to search for new sources of resistance to the disease.
In response to this challenge, CRC (as CRU) initiated a mass screening programme in 1996 to assess the germplasm collection in the ICGT for resistance to BP. This exercise identifies sources of resistance for the on-going germplasm enhancement programme and selection of germplasm for distribution. The programme will add value to the various cocoa breeding programmes in producing countries by providing new sources of resistance genes for the development of new varieties with an acceptable tolerance to BP.
Other CRA Projects