Pollen Production in Theobroma cacao L. Genotypes National Type and CCN-51 and Its Relationship with Climatic Factors on the Ecuadorian Coast

Luz Cecilia García-Cruzatty, Luis Vera-Pinargote, Freddy Zambrano-Gavilanes, Andrés Zamora-Macías, John Cedeño-Ortega


Cocoa is a primary source of economic income in the agricultural and agroindustrial sectors of Ecuador. However, cocoa crops are vulnerable to meteorological conditions that affect reproduction processes, including pollen production, which has encouraged the study of factors related to low crop yields and practical implications in breeding programs. The objective of this study was to assess the pollen production per flower in 11 genotypes of Theobroma cacao national type and CCN-51 clone. The number of pollen grains per flower was estimated by collecting 10 flower buds from each genotype for 12 consecutive months and directly counting pollen grains using an optical microscope and a Neubauer chamber. An average of 32,611 pollen grains per flower was estimated, with the largest amount of pollen (44,000) produced by the CCN-51 genotype. There was a moderate positive correlation between the environmental variables and pollen production (temperature, r = 0.33; p = 0.028; precipitation, r = 0.43; p = 0.0025). Since pollen production is an important indicator used for the selection of promising genotypes, the genotypes identified with the highest pollen production should be used in breeding programs.


flower; pollen grains; genotype; selection; meteorological factors

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