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Journal of Applied Genetics 44(3), 2003, pp. 339-353

Assessment of the value of doubled haploids as progenitors in cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) breeding

Olivier SOUNIGO, Philippe LACHENAUD, Philippe Bastide, Christian Cilas, Jeanne N’GORAN, Claire LANAUD

Abstract: In order to evaluate twelve doubled haploids (DHs) of Theobroma cacao L. used as parents, a trial was set up in Côte d’Ivoire. Several traits were observed, such as yield, vigour, yield/vigour ratios, resistance to the black pod disease caused by Phytophthora, percentage of flat beans and mean weight of 100 cocoa beans. Out of the three progenies derived from crosses between two DHs, two showed severe drawbacks. A reduction of the heterogeneity within these progenies was occasionally observed for some of the traits, but failed to be consistent. When tested as female parents in combination with diploid testers, some of the DHs showed a significantly higher combining value than their parents for traits such as the mean weight of 100 beans and the yield/canopy surface ratio. The results showed the potential of DHs to improve selected parents in only one cycle of selection but more crosses between two DHs need to be tested in order to evaluate potential of the resulting F1 progenies.

Key words: combining value, doubled haploid, Theobroma cacao L.

Correspondence: O. SOUNIGO, CIRAD BP 5035 34032 Montpellier, France, email:

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