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Nat Genet. 2011 Feb;43(2):101-8. doi: 10.1038/ng.736. Epub 2010 Dec 26.

The genome of Theobroma cacao.

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Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD)-Biological Systems Department-Unité Mixte de Recherche Développement et Amélioration des Plantes (UMR DAP) TA A 96/03-34398, Montpellier, France.


We sequenced and assembled the draft genome of Theobroma cacao, an economically important tropical-fruit tree crop that is the source of chocolate. This assembly corresponds to 76% of the estimated genome size and contains almost all previously described genes, with 82% of these genes anchored on the 10 T. cacao chromosomes. Analysis of this sequence information highlighted specific expansion of some gene families during evolution, for example, flavonoid-related genes. It also provides a major source of candidate genes for T. cacao improvement. Based on the inferred paleohistory of the T. cacao genome, we propose an evolutionary scenario whereby the ten T. cacao chromosomes were shaped from an ancestor through eleven chromosome fusions.

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