A study was undertaken to determine whether cocoa swollen shoot virus is transmitted by seeds, to improve the robustness of quarantine procedures for international exchange and long term conservation of cocoa germplasm. PCR/capillary electrophoresis, using cocoa swollen shoot virus primers designed from the most conserved regions of the six published cocoa genome sequences, allowed the detection of cocoa swollen shoot virus in all the component parts of cocoa seeds from cocoa swollen shoot virus-infected trees. PCR/capillary electrophoresis revealed the presence of cocoa swollen shoot virus in seedlings raised from seeds obtained from cocoa swollen shoot virus-infected trees. The high frequency with which the virus was transmitted through the seedlings suggested that cocoa swollen shoot virus is transmitted by seeds. This has serious implications for cocoa germplasm conservation and distribution.