Physiology and Environmental Response Research Projects (12)

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Physiological Characterisation of the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre Germplasm Collection

Funded by CRUK
» University of Reading
(2015 to 2016)
Researchers: Dr. Andrew Daymond/Prof. Paul Hadley, Dr. Fiona Lahive
A 16 month post-doctoral project to screen the accessions in the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC) at the University of Reading for traits which are likely to affect their yield potential and stress resilience with a view to identifying interesting materials for priority inclusion in breeding work.

Identification of Selection Traits to Maximise Cocoa Productivity and Quality in a Changing Environment.

Funded by CRUK
» University of Reading
(2010 to 2016)
Researchers: Prof.P.Hadley, Dr. A.Daymond, Dr. J.Dunwell
A project involving two PhD students to investigate the potential effects of climate change on the growth, physiology and quality of different genotypes of cocoa. The research will be largely undertaken in the new controlled environment glass house facilities at the University of Reading which allow the quantification of factors such as temperature, CO2 and water stress. Fiona Lahive published her PhD thesis entitled "An examination of the impacts of climate change variables on growth and photosynthesis in Theobroma cacao L." in 2015. Her research showed that the responses and interactions varied according to the age of the plants (seedling v older budded plants), and that there were some differences in these responses amongst the limited number of genotypes studied. Liam Handley is studying the effects of environmental variables on flower and fruit development

Variation in uptake and partitioning of Cadmium within contrasting cocoa genotypes and methods of reducing Cadmium accumulation.

Funded by CRUK
» University of Reading
(2010 to 2015)
Researchers: P. Hadley, J. Dunwell, N.Cryer, I.Ullah
A post-doctoral research project to investigate the genetic and soil/root environment factors affecting cadmium uptake by cocoa with a view to developing molecular tools to screen for rootstock varieties which accumulate less cadmium even when grown in volcanic soils which contain naturally higher levels.

An Investigation in to the Physiological and Genetic Basis of Establishment of Cocoa Clones.

Funded by CRA* and LNV Sustainable Cocoa Subsidy Scheme (Dutch Buffer Stock), STCP
*(transferred from BCCCA in 2008)
» University of Reading
» IITA
(2008 to 2011)
Researchers: Dr. A. Daymond, Prof. P.Hadley
A post-graduate research project co-funded by LNV (Sustainable Cocoa Subsidy Scheme) and STCP, and administered by BCCCA/CRA Ltd, to investigate the importance of factors such as rootstock x variety effects and physiological performance of the variety during establishment and early growth, especially under drought conditions.

An Investigation in to the Effects of Vegetative Propagation and Juvenility on Cocoa Vigour and Implications for Breeding Strategies, Nursery Management and Distribution of Genetic Resources.

Funded by CRA* and LNV Sustainable Cocoa Subsidy Scheme (Dutch Buffer Stock)
*(transferred from BCCCA in 2008)
» University of Reading
» Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana
(2007 to 2011)
Researchers: Prof. Paul Hadley, Dr. P. Tricker
A post-graduate research project to investigate the effects of juvenility, reinvigoration and disruption to the flow of nutrients and water at the graft union on budding success and growth rates of budded plants with a view to understanding why seedling plants perform better than genetically identical plants derived from them.

MSc study to produce a vulnerability assessment of the cocoa productivity in Cote d'Ivoire

Funded by CRUK
» University of Edinburgh, Business School
(2010 to 2010)
This MSc study aimed to produce a vulnerability assessment of the cocoa productivity in Cote d'Ivoire using the latest findings of the IPCC reports, building potential scenarios of impacts based also on related literature review and addressing possible ways to adapt to climate change through findings from focus groups and interviews with farmers and policy makers in Cote d.Ivoire.

Field Establishment of Cocoa Clones through the Improvement of Agro-ecological Conditions.

Funded by CRA* and CFC and other co-financiers
*(transferred from BCCCA in 2008)
» University of Reading
» Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana
(2005 to 2010)
Researchers: Prof. P. Hadley, Dr. A.J. Daymond
A PhD research project to evaluate the effects of shade, mulch and irrigation on the growth, development and physiology of different varieties of cocoa under field and controlled greenhouse conditions.

Understanding Seasonal Variability in Quality, Yield and Disease Resistance.

Funded by CRUK and LNV Sustainable Cocoa Subsidy Scheme (Dutch Buffer Stock)
» University of Reading
» University of Aberystwyth
(2005 to 2010)
Researchers: Prof. Paul Hadley, Prof. Mike Wilkinson, Dr. Nicholas Cryer, Dr. Penny Tricker, Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Lopez, Dr. Vladimir Bruhkin
A post-doctoral research project co-funded by the Government of the Netherlands to investigate the control of plant development and its response to environmental conditions and stresses caused by biotic and abiotic factors at the molecular level. This research contributed to our understanding of how regions and genes across the genome are differentially silenced or activated in response to environmental changes and developmental progression. Attention was focused on identifying environmentally sensitive regions of the genome that affect bean quality and yield potential. The results generated are being integrated with existing global genomics and transcriptomics research efforts to identify the particular genes involved and to define conditions for optimal gene expression. In the longer term, this work will assist in the breeding of clones that are well adapted to local conditions and will greatly improve the power of existing genetics research efforts.

Determination of Desirable Cocoa Germplasm Characteristics for Optimal Yield and Quality.

Funded by CRUK
» University of Reading
(2001 to 2004)
Researchers: P. Hadley, A.Daymond
A post-doctoral research project to investigate the responses of different varieties of cocoa to changes in temperature, light levels and water stress under greenhouse and field conditions with a view to matching varieties to local growing conditions.

The Genetic and Physiological Basis of Incompatibility in Cocoa.

Funded by BCCCA
» University of Reading
(1999 to 2004)
Researchers: Prof. M. Wilkinson, Prof. P. Hadley
This PhD research project involved studies of the recognition and rejection reactions in cocoa's unusual late-acting self-incompatibility mechanism using a combination of microscopy and molecular techniques.

Long-term Physiology Trial

Funded by GCGRA
» University of Reading
(1995 to 2001)
Researcher: P. Hadley
The intention was to set up a series of long-term multi-locational experiments to analyse the growth and yield potential of a number of contrasting cocoa clones. Sites were established at Almirante Cacau, Bahia, Brazil and Bontu Morso, nr. Kumasi, Ghana but difficulties in establishing common planting materials eventually led to a re-consideration of the project. The site at Bontu Morso was subsequently used in the BCCCA/Bangor University/FORIG project ‘Improving the productivity and sustainability of cocoa farms in West Africa through the utilisation of native forest trees in agroforestry systems’ and the GCGRA/CRIG/Cadbury International project ‘Intercropping cocoa with economic shade crops’.

A study into the potential for enhancing productivity in cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) through exploitation of physiological and genetic variation.

Funded by BCCCA
» University of Reading
» BAL Plantations Sdn Bhd
(1989 to 1992)
Researcher: Prof. P. Hadley
"Understanding how the environment can influence growth, yield and quality"