Parentage analysis and outcrossing patterns in cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) farms in Cameroon.

Abstract : The present study investigates the parentage of farm accessions in Cameroon using data from 12 microsatellite loci. Bayesian analysis suggests that 25.5% of the 400 farm accessions studied is still closely related to the traditional Amelonado variety called 'German Cocoa' by the farmers. Another 46.3% of the farm accessions were found to be direct descendants (20.8% first-generation (F1) hybrids and 25.5% selfed genotypes) from 24 parental clones used in biclonal seed gardens (BSGs) established in the 1970s in southern and western Cameroon. Furthermore, 28.3% of farm accessions appeared to descent from uncontrolled pollination events in cacao farms, which could be related to a common practice of cacao growers to use seeds collected in their own farm for new plantings. All farm accessions descending from BSG could be individually related through parentage analysis to the 24 progenitors of the BSG. Only 25% of progenies distributed from BSG corresponded to F1 hybrids combinations originally planned to be released. Significant biparental inbreeding estimates were observed for all 'traditional' farms and for most 'F1 hybrids' farms due to presence of a high proportion of selfed accessions. Biparental inbreeding occurs when plants receive pollen from genetically related neighbors. High levels of outcrossing observed in 'mixed' farms might be explained by the admixture of traditional varieties and BSG progenies. The implications of our finding for management of seed gardens and for further breeding using farm accessions in Cameroon are discussed.
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M.I. Efombagn, O. Sounigo, A.B. Eskes, J.C. Motamayor, Maria Manzanares-Dauleux, et al.. Parentage analysis and outcrossing patterns in cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) farms in Cameroon.. Heredity, Nature Publishing Group, 2009, 103 (1), pp.46-53. ⟨10.1038/hdy.2009.30⟩. ⟨hal-00730038⟩

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