October 24, 2018

New Research on Ancient Cacao Domestication

A large team of researchers from 11 institutions studied the process of cacao domestication in the Americas. The ancient cacao domesticators selected for flavor, disease resistance and for theobromine. Criollo was the first variety domesticated. The date for first domestication was at 3,600 years ago in the Amazon Basin, and cacao was brought to Central America by traders. Theobromine was found in Olmec pottery during this time period. The gene sequencing was done at the Center for Institutional Research Computing for the analyses, and Stanford University. The research is published in • Population genomic analyses of the chocolate tree, Theobroma cacao L., provide insights into its domestication process. Communications Biology, 2018; 1 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s42003-018-0168-6

Science Daily has the report here.;

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