Theobroma cacao, also called the cacao tree and the cocoa tree, is a small (48 m (1326 ft) tall) evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae, native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. Its seeds, cocoa beans, are used to make cocoa mass, cocoa powder, confectionery, ganache and chocolate.


The genome of T. cacao is diploid, its size is 430 Mbp, and it comprises 10 chromosome pairs (2n=2x=20). In September 2010, a team of scientists announced a draft sequence of the cacao genome (Matina1-6 genotype). In a second, unrelated project, the... [more]