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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Field Guide to the Uf Clones of Costa Rica

Authors
item Johnson, Elizabeth
item Phillips, Wilbert - CATIE, COSTA RICA
item Bekele, Frances - UWI, ST. AUGUSTINE, WI
item Zhang, Dapeng
item Schnell Ii, Raymond

Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Cocoa Producer's Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2006
Publication Date: October 25, 2007
Citation: Johnson, E., Phillips, W., Bekele, F., Zhang, D., Schnell Ii, R.J. 2007. Field guide to the uf clones of costa rica. Proceedings of the International Cocoa Producer's Conference. San Jose, Costa Rica Oct 9-14. Vol. I: 641-646.

Technical Abstract: In 1899, the United Fruit company was founded in New Jersey through the merger of the Boston Fruit company with the Costa Rican Holdings of Minor Keith (the banana king of Costa Rica). In 1907, the United Fruit company initiated planting cacao in Limon and Almirante on the Eastern or Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica and Panama respectively, from seedlings derived from pods introduced three years earlier from Trinidad and Tobago. The pods from Trinidad were described as a Forastero Amelonado type with pods and beans that were much larger than the native cacao grown in Limon at that time. By 1930, it was possible to clonally replicate desirable trees as rooted cacao cuttings had been developed and standardized by F.J. Pound in Trinidad. In 1936, the United Fruit company initiated a cacao selection program in Limon after years of random hybridization and selection for pod size, bean size and high productivity. The first 12 best trees were selected and clonally propagated in Costa Rica with the designations UF (for United Fruit) 613, 650, 652, 654, 666, 667, 668, 672, 676, 677, 678 and 679. These clones were reported to have been selected after surveying thousands of trees and were also selected for their resistance to pod rot in addition to their high productivity and large bean size. The spread of Panama disease of banana in Quepos on the Western Coast of Costa Rica in 1944, resulted in the United Fruit company planting Oil Palm and cacao as replacement crops. Rooted cacao cuttings and budwood were flown from Limon to Quepos and established at the Los Rios farm. Later, five more selections (UF 10, 11, 12 38 and 221) and a further 11 un-referenced selections to total 28 were made. Comparison plots of the 28 clones were established in Almirante, Limon and Quepos. However, by 1950, plots at Almirante were abandoned. The comparison trials at Limon and Quepos consisted of the 28 clones each planted in a sub-plot, two sub-plots planted with open pollinated seedlings from these clones, 2 sub-plots planted with open pollinated seedlings from randomly selected trees and 4 sub-plots planted with the last of the selections. The clones far out performed the seedlings in these trials. The 43 UF clones currently maintained in the cacao germplasm collections at CATIE are the subjects of the second in the Field Guide series.

Last Modified: 10/19/2014
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