Activities | Staff

 

Achievements

  • Data of interest to breeders, viz., bean weight, pod index (P.I.) and pod wall hardness are presented in annual reports (CRU Annual Report 2000, 2002), refereed journals, the Trinitario Cacao Resource website etc.
  • Completed empirical studies to generate a concise list of 25 morphological descriptors for cacao based on Bioversity International's (formerly IBPGR's) list of 65 descriptors to improve the efficiency of data collection.
  • Compiled and analysed complete morphological data on 1587 accessions using the concise list (March, 2011).
  • A training module on morphological characterisation has been developed to expose interested persons to the process and application of this genebank activity. It will be available online in the future.
  • Contributed to the publication of the Field Guide to the ICS Clones of Trinidad and the Field Guide to the UF clones of Costa Rica.
  • Completed studies on
    o environmental effects on cacao fruit and seed characters
    o pod wall hardness variation (significant for Cocoa Pod Borer resistance)
    o characters of economic interest: Pod Index (an indicator of yield potential), bean and cotyledon traits.
  • Identified cacao accessions and populations with good yield potential as well as resistance to Black Pod and Witches' Broom Diseases.
  • Compared cacao classifications obtained using morphological and biochemical/molecular data.
  • Investigated correspondence between phenotypic diversity and geographic origin.
  • Developed a machine to semi-automate removal of pulp/mucilage from cacao seeds.
  • Trained and provided support/outreach to farmers, students and other stakeholders in the cocoa industry.
  • Involved in the preparation of the Cacao Clones Manual CD-ROM*

Selected publications

Bekele, F.L., Butler, D.R. and Bidaisee, G.G. (2008a). Upper Amazon Forastero cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) 1: An assessment of phenotypic relationships in the International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad) Vol 85 No. 1 January 2008: 1-15

Bekele, F.L., A.D. Iwaro, Butler, D.R. and Bidaisee, G.G. (2008b). Upper Amazon Forastero cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) 2: An overview of Parinari clones from a breeder’s perspective. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad). Vol 85 No. 1 January 2008: 16-33.