Its primary objectives are to :
* Enlarge the narrow genetic base of cultivated coffee-trees (Coffea arabica L.) and contribute to the development of cultivars combining high quality and resistance to root-knot nematode.
* Overcome most of the limitations faced by conventional coffee breeding in using the genetic resources through the development of molecular marker-facilitated selection programmes.
* Investigate and control the repercussion on coffee quality of wild trait introgression into C. arabica.
* Extend and implement molecular marker technology in relation to coffee breeding in Central America.
Enhanced use of genetic resources through the development of molecular marker approaches will lead to the production of improved coffee cultivars. In particular, this project would make possible to associate root-knot nematode resistance traits in single cultivars, without reducing coffee quality and within an acceptable time frame. It would therefore contribute to the sustainable improvement of coffee production which constitutes a major economic and social activity in Central America. The strategy and molecular tools developed during this project could also be used for other important agronomic traits (Coffee Berry Disease, Leaf Rust), and by other coffee breeding programmes world-wide. In addition, the project will significantly contribute to the strengthening of research capabilities through training and technology transfer.
The key activities involve :
* Evaluation for coffee quality and resistance to nematode populations of a wide range of plant materials including major cultivars, F1 hybrids as well as F2 segregating progenies.
* Genetic analysis. This study will be conducted to specify the genetic determinism of coffee tree resistances to two nematode species (Meloidogyne exigua and M. sp. of Guatemala). It will look for easily scored genetic markers linked to nematode resistance sources. Furthermore, activities will be oriented to determine the type, importance and consequences on quality (fertility, biochemical..) of chromosome exchanges during the introgression of desirable traits into C. arabica from wild relative Coffea species.
* Development of molecular markers suitable for large scale application in arabica coffee genetics (i.e. DNA microsatellite markers).
* Formulation and set up in connection with the regional breeding programme, of marker-facilitated selection programmes optimising the use of genetic resources.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1815 Guatemala Ciudad