Genetic differentiation of cocoa (Theobrotna cacao L.) populations revealed by RAPD analysis

J. R. Russell, F. Hosein, E. Johnson, R. Waugh, W. Powell

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99 Citations (Scopus)


In order to preserve and exploit the valuable genetic resources of tropical forest trees, such as cocoa, a systematic assessment of the available genetic variability is necessary. The approach we have used is based on a simple mini‐prep DNA extraction procedure together with a polymerase‐chain‐reaction‐ (PCR)‐based polymorphic assay procedure (RAPD). Twenty‐five cocoa accessions: IMCs and PAs collected from Peru and LCTEENs collected from Ecuador, which are difficult to distinguish using morphological or biochemical descriptors, were uniquely fingerprinted using a minimum of three oligonucleotide primers. Analysis of the variability detected using RAPDs clearly discriminated between the geographical origin of the three cocoa populations. Partitioning of variability into within and between population components revealed that most variation was detected within a population. The potential of RAPD analysis to facilitate the rationalization of field gene banks and provide accurate estimates of diversity to allow optimization of collecting strategies is discussed

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1993


  • cocoa
  • DNA fingerprinting
  • genetic diversity
  • population
  • RAPD
  • woody perennial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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