Coffea arabica L. is a native coffee species probably originated in Abyssinia, now Ethiopia. The genetic diversity of C. arabica has economic implications directly related to profits by breeding for developing new varieties to a global market. The economic value of C. arabica genetic resources are estimated at US$ 420 million, considered a 10% discount rate. Understanding the extent of traits variability and genetic diversity is essential to guide crosses between genotypes, targeting the development of new varieties with high economic value. This chapter will present the C. arabica economic importance, primarily to Brazil, the most significant world producer; we will outline the origin and dispersion of arabica coffee and briefly show the leading germplasm banks. We will also point out contribution of genetic diversity studies based on morphological, agronomic traits, and molecular markers supporting the development of new varieties. Finally, we present an outline for the future.
Part of the book: Genetic Variation