Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2006
Publication Date: 2/5/2007
Citation: Jarret, R.L., Baldwin, E.A., Perkins, B., Guthrie, K., Bushway, R. 2007. Diversity of fruit quality characteristics in Capsicum frutescens. HortScience. 42(1):16-19. Interpretive Summary: The genus Capsicum contains a number of species that are cultivated. One of these, Capsicum frutescens, is known as the Tabasco pepper and is used in the preparation of sauces and as a condiment. The USDA genebank in Griffin, GA contains numerous lines of Capsicum frutescens from countries in North, Central, and South America, and elsewhere. This study examined the diversity present in forty of these C. frutescens lines for characteristics that affect the physical appearance of the fruit, such as length, width and weight. Also examined were characteristics that affect the taste of the mature fruit, including the concentrations of various carbohydrates (reducing sugars) and organic acids. The results of the analyses indicated an approximately 4- to 14-fold range in the parameters evaluated. These data indicate that sufficient variability for fruit quality characteristics is present within this collection of lines to provide the basis for the selective enhancement of Tabasco pepper for specific quality attributes.
Technical Abstract: Fruit of forty genotypes of Capsicum frutescens L. from the USDA Capsicum germplasm collection were analyzed for a variety of fruit quality parameters, including fruit size, weight, and concentrations of capsaicinoids, sucrose, glucose, fructose, malic and succinic acids. Fruit weight ranged from 0.23g to 4.04g (average 1.05g). Fruit length/width ranged from 1 to 5.66 (ave. 3.61). Capsaicin concentrations ranged from 34 mg/100g FW to 350 mg/100g FW (ave. 135 mg/100g FW). Sucrose concentrations ranged from 0.28 g/100g FW to 1.0g/100g FW (ave. 0.6 g/100g FW). Total sugar extracts ranged from 0.73% to 2.6% (ave 1.55%). Malic and succinic acid concentrations ranged from 0.62 to an approximately four to 14-fold range in values for the characteristics examined suggesting the presence of sufficient variability for these traits within this species to support the development of germplasm or varieties enhanced for specific or multiple fruit quality attributes.