Differential effects of temperature on fruit development and bean quality of contrasting genotypes of cacao (Theobroma cacao)
Daymond, A. J. and Hadley, P. (2008) Differential effects of temperature on fruit development and bean quality of contrasting genotypes of cacao (Theobroma cacao). Annals of Applied Biology, 153 (2). pp. 175-185. ISSN 0003-4746
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2008.00246.x
The effects of temperature and light integral on fruit growth and development of five cacao genotypes (Amelonado, AMAZ 15/15, SCA 6, SPEC 54/1 and UF 676) were studied in semi-controlled environment glasshouses in which the thermal regimes of cacao-growing regions of Brazil, Ghana and Malaysia were simulated. Fruit losses because of physiological will (cherelle will) were greater at higher temperatures and also differed significantly between genotypes, reflecting genetic differences in competition for assimilates between vegetative and reproductive components. Short-term measurements of fruit growth indicated faster growth rates at higher temperatures. In addition, a significant negative linear relationship between temperature and development time was observed. There was an effect of genotype on this relationship, such that time to fruit maturation at a given temperature was greatest for the clone UF 676 and least for AMAZ 15/15. Analysis of base temperatures, derived from these relationships indicated genetic variability in sensitivity of cacao fruit growth to temperature (base temperatures ranged from 7.5 degrees C for Amelonado and AMAZ 15/15 to 12.9 for SPEC 54/1). Final fruit size was a positive function of beam number for all genotypes and a positive function of light integral for Amelonado in the Malaysia simulated environment (where the temperature was almost constant). In simulated environments where temperature was the main variable (Brazil and Ghana) increases in temperature resulted in a significant decrease in final pod size for one genotype (Amelonado) in Brazil and for two genotypes (SPEC 54/1 and UF 676) in Ghana. It was hypothesised that pod growth duration (mediated by temperature), assimilation and beam number are all determinants of final pod size but that under specific conditions one of these factors may override the others. There was variability between genotypes in the response of beam size and beam lipid content to temperature. Negative relationships between temperature and bean size were found for Amelonado and UF 676. Lipid concentration was a curvilinear function of temperature for Amelonado and UF 676, with optimal temperatures of 23 degrees C and 24 degrees C, respectively. The variability observed here of different cacao genotypes to temperature highlights the need and opportunities for appropriate matching of planting material with local environments.
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