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Cacao Genome Database

posted on 2024-02-09, 18:02 authored by Raymond J. Schnell, Alan W. Meerow, Tomas Ayala-Silva, Osman GutierrezOsman Gutierrez, David Kuhn, Cecile L. Tondo, Juan Carlos Motamayor

Not only is cacao the basic ingredient in the world’s favorite confection, chocolate, but it provides a livelihood for over 6.5 million farmers in Africa, South America and Asia and ranks as one of the top ten agriculture commodities in the world. Historically, cocoa production has been plagued by serious losses due to pests and diseases. The release of the cacao genome sequence will provide researchers with access to the latest genomic tools, enabling more efficient research and accelerating the breeding process, thereby expediting the release of superior cacao cultivars. The sequenced genotype, Matina 1-6, is representative of the genetic background most commonly found in the cacao producing countries, enabling results to be applied immediately and broadly to current commercial cultivars.  Matina 1-6 is highly homozygous which greatly reduces the complexity of the sequence assembly process. While the sequence provided is a preliminary release, it already covers 92% of the genome, with approximately 35,000 genes. We will continue to refine the assembly and annotation, working toward a complete finished sequence. Updates will be made available via the main project website.

Resources in this dataset:




Data contact name

Gutierrez, Osman


USDA Agricultural Research Service


  • Not specified

ISO Topic Category

  • biota

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

ingredients; chocolate; livelihood; farmers; Africa; South America; Asia; products and commodities; crop production; pests; nucleotide sequences; researchers; genomics; breeding; cultivars; genetic background; homozygosity; genes

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 301

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Schnell, Raymond J.; Meerow, Alan W.; Ayala-Silva, Tomas; Gutierrez, Osman A.; Kuhn, David; Tondo, Cecile L.; Motamayor, Juan Carlos (2017). Cacao Genome Database. USDA Agricultural Research Service.

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