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Genetic identification of Theobroma cacao L. trees with high Criollo ancestry in Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico

Author(s): J.A. Vázquez-Ovando1,4, F. Molina-Freaner2, J. Nuñez-Farfán3, I. Ovando-Medina4 and M. Salvador-Figueroa4

Criollo-type cacao trees are an important pool of genes with potential to be used in cacao breeding and selection programs. For that reason, we assessed the diversity and population structure of Criollo-type trees (108 cultivars with Criollo phenotypic characteristics and 10 Criollo references) using 12 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Cultivars were selected from 7 demes in the Soconusco region of southern Mexico. SSRs amplified 74 alleles with an average of 3.6 alleles per population.