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Growth and nutritional responses of juvenile wild and domesticated cacao genotypes to soil acidity

Arévalo-Hernández, C. O., Arévalo-Gardini, E., Farfan, A., Amaringo-Gomez, M., Daymond, A. ORCID:, Zhang, D. and Baligar, V. C. (2022) Growth and nutritional responses of juvenile wild and domesticated cacao genotypes to soil acidity. Agronomy, 12 (12). 3124. ISSN 2073-4395

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/agronomy12123124


Cacao is an important tropical crop and requires high-fertility soils for better growth and productivity; nevertheless, soils where this crop is grown are, in general, acidic and low in fertility. Therefore, germplasm with tolerance to soil acidity is desirable for cacao genetic improvement. The objective of this study was to evaluate cacao germplasm for early growth, nutrient concentration, and potential tolerance to soil acidity. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate 60 cacao genotypes with diverse geographic origins. Cacao seedlings were grown for six months in acid soil with and without lime. Growth parameters and the total concentration of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Mn, and Zn were measured in shoots after harvest. Our results indicate that the best early growth predictors of acid soil tolerance are the number of leaves and root area. N, Ca, Mg, and K uptake may have a potential role in tolerance to soil acidity. Finally, the results revealed a large difference among cacao genotypes in terms of their responses to acid soil stress, which led to the selection of ten genotypes: CCN-51, PH-21, CCN-10, PAS-91, ICT-1087, ICS-95, UF-667, TSH-565, PH-144, ICT-1189 that are potentially tolerant to soil acidity and could be used for breeding acid soil-tolerant cacao varieties.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:109690


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