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2Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon
3Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Higher Teacher’s Training College,University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon
Diseases and abiotic stresses constitute the main constraints in the production of cocoa (Theobroma cacao) in coastal regions. To this end, the use of productive and resistant or tolerant hybrid genotypes is an alternative for improving its production in these regions. In order to select new hybrid genotypes tolerant to Phytophthora megakarya under sodium and saline stress at different concentrations, the incidence and severity of this pathogen were evaluated through the evaluation of the development of necrosis after infection in the parental genotypes SNK413 and T79 / 501 and in their descendants (F79SB: SNK413xT79 / 501) under conditions of saline stress. Date and hybrid genotype effects were found to be significant (P <0.05) during necrotic development. Under saline conditions at different concentrations, the size of the necrotic surfaces was a function of the values of the different concentrations used. It has been observed that the higher the salt concentrations, the larger the necrotic surfaces. These results suggest that salinity increases the sensitivity of cocoa to Phytophthora megakarya. The hybrid genotypes F79SB3, F79SB4, F79SB5, F79SB8 and F79SB15 were distinguished by small necrotic surfaces whatever the saline concentration used. These hybrid genotypes could therefore be used in a breeding program in regions with a high salt concentration in order to improve yields in cocoa plantations.