The genome for the Criollo variety of the cacao plant, the source of chocolate, is reported in this week’s issue of Nature Genetics. The genome sequence could assist in the genetic improvement of this crop.
Theobroma cacao, the tropical tree crop that is used to make chocolate, is native to Central and South America. The cocoa tree was first cultivated approximately 3000 years ago and today 3.7 million tons of cocoa are annually produced.
Xavier Argout and colleagues report the genome sequence of the Criollo variety of Theobroma cacao, which is used to produce fine-flavor chocolate.