Activities | Achievements | Staff


In the pathology section of the Cocoa Research Centre investigations are focused on the two main diseases of cacao,

  • Black Pod
  • Witches’ Broom

These diseases are caused by the fungal pathogens Phytophthora spp. (Black Pod) and Moniliophtora perniciosa (Witches' Broom).

Image 1: Black Pod disease on cocoa

Black Pod disease on cocoa Basiocarp. Image copyright Cocoa Research Centre

Image 2 (right):
Basidiocarp of
M. perniciosa




  1. To identify rapid screening methods for the diseases.
  2. Identify potential sources of resistance to the diseases.
  3. Cocoa germplasm enhancement.

By screening cocoa clones from the genebank, we identify new cocoa germplasm with potential resistance to these two diseases. Once clones are identified as showing resistance, they can be included as potential parents in pre-breeding activities, since the only long term solution to controlling these two diseases is to breed resistant varieties.


Screening for resistance - Incubation of cocoa seedlings. Image copyright Cocoa Research Centre