Biotechnology for cocoa pod borer resistance in cocoa

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Chaidamsari, T. (2005)

The cocoa tree ( Theobroma cacao L.) produces the beans that are the source of cacao, the basis for chocolate production, and an important commodity crop in South America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia.</span><span lang=EN-GB style='font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language: EN-GB'>Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB,</span><span lang=EN-US style='font-family:"Times New Roman"'>( Conopomorpha cramerella)</span><span lang=EN-GB style='font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB'>has been the single most important limiting factor for cacao production in Southeast Asia.</span><span lang=EN-GB style='font-family:"Times New Roman"'></span><span lang=EN-GB style='font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-GB'>So far, there has been no single cost effective and environmentally safe way to control this pest.</span><span lang=EN-US style='font-family:"Times New Roman"'><o:p></o:p></span><p class=MsoNormal style='text-indent:0cm;line-height:normal'><span lang=EN-US style='font-family:"Times New Roman"'>This thesis describes the first steps in a biotechnological approach to the control of CPB through the production of transgenic cocoa trees, which produce an insecticidal toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in their pod wall, making them resistant to CPB</span><span lang=EN-US style='font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Miriam'>. Selection of a CPB-active toxin, optimization of its expression, making the expression tissue-specific and optimization of cocoa transformation and regeneration are described. Moreover, the isolation of two transcription factor genes involved in flower timing and architecture is described.
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