Micropropagation of Theobroma cacao L. using somatic embryo-derived plants

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27 Scopus citations


A micropropagation protocol was developed using cacao somatic embryo-derived plants as a source for nodal and apical stem explants, and apical microcuttings. Microcuttings were efficiently rooted and developed into plantlets. Axillary meristems within the remaining decapitated plantlets subsequently developed and were used for production of additional microcuttings, with an average 2.4 growing shoots per decapitated stem. The remaining plantlets were maintained as microcutting stock plants. When nodal stem explants were cultured on thidiazuron medium, axillary buds proliferated and developed into shoots, which were excised and rooted. However, the efficiency of this method is lower than rooting of apical microcuttings harvested directly from stock plants. During root induction, short treatment with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) increased the total percentage of rooted microcuttings up to 89%. Longer exposures to IBA increased the average number of roots per microcutting (from 1.7 to 5.2). Plant acclimatization after rooting was achieved with an average success of 87%. During several months of growth in the greenhouse, the micropropagated plants developed functional taproots. Currently, cocoa plants produced by this micropropagation method have been successfully acclimated to field conditions in Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Saint Lucia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-337
Number of pages6
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plant
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science


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