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    Cadmium (Cd), a toxic non-essential metal, is easily accumulated in cacao tissues. This represents a risk for cacao exportation, and consequently it affects the economic well-being of the resource-poor-small-producers in Latin America. A greenhouse experiment was conducted with 53 wild and domesticated cacao genotypes to determine their response to Cd in terms of growth and Cd and essential nutrients accumulation. Cacao seedlings were grown for 6 months in an acidic soil with or without added Cd. The total concentration of macro (Ca, K, Mg, N and P) and micronutrients (B, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) as well as Cd were measured in shoots along with growth (biometric) parameters after harvest. The results revealed that even if there was a wide range of Cd concentrations among genotypes, there was a reduction in the concentration of essential nutrients in genotypes grown in Cd spiked soils, however these concentrations were not significantly different from the control. In the case of growth parameters, the effects of Cd were diverse across all genotypes some of them being more tolerant to Cd stress than others. Thus, different growth responses to Cd stress are related to a genotype effect. Based on their lower Cd concentration, a total of 11 cacao genotypes (AYP-22, PAS-105, UGU-126, ICT-1026, ICT-1087, ICT-1189, ICT-1292, PH-17, CCN-51, ICS-39 and TSH-565) are proposed here as low Cd-accumulating genotypes. Therefore, these genotypes are potentially useful as rootstock to reduce uptake and transport of Cd, especially in economically important cacao cultivars. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    César O Arévalo-Hernández, Enrique Arévalo-Gardini, Fiorella Barraza, Abel Farfán, Zhenli He, Virupax C Baligar. Growth and nutritional responses of wild and domesticated cacao genotypes to soil Cd stress. The Science of the total environment. 2021 Apr 01;763:144021

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    PMID: 33383517

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