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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Griffin, Georgia » Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #217067

Title: Variation for Fruit Morphological Characteristics within a Germplasm Collection of Capsicum Chinense Jacq.

item Jarret, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2008
Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Citation: Jarret, R.L., Berke, T. 2008. Variation for Fruit Morphological Characteristics within a Germplasm Collection of Capsicum Chinense Jacq.. HortScience. 43:1694-1697.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA/ARS maintains a collection of pepper (Capsicum spp.) germplasm in Griffin, GA. In order to better evaluate the extent of the genetic diversity within the collection of Capsicum chinense, we evaluated mature fruit of 330 varieties of this species for various characteristics, including: length, width, weight and color. An eight- to more than a 100-fold variation was observed among these characteristics. Fruit colors observed included red, orange, yellow, brown (chocolate) and cream. The data presented documents the genetic variability for these traits and serves as a baseline against which new acquisitions can be compared.

Technical Abstract: Mature fruit of 330 accessions of Capsicum chinense Jacq. from the USDA/ARS Capsicum germplasm collection were characterized for fruit length, width, weight and color. Mean fruit length was determined to be 47 mm with a range from 7.9 mm to 113.7 mm. Mean fruit width was 21.17 mm with a range of 6.18 to 40.0 mm. Mean fruit weight was 6.31g with a range of 0.18g to 22.7 g. Distributions of all characteristics were positively skewed. Distributions of fruit length, fruit weight and fruit length/width failed the Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test for normality. The distribution for fruit width was normal. Ninety-two percent of the accessions examined were elongate. Mature fruit colors included; red, orange, yellow, brown (chocolate) and cream. The germplasm collection contained primarily pendent larger-fruited cultivated forms of the species, but also contained upright small-fruited primitive and semi-pendent transitional forms. These data define the variability for mature fruit characteristics within the germplasm collection and provide a baseline against which future introductions/acquisitions can be compared. Additional sampling of the gene pool might be expected to substantially enhance the genetic variability within the primitive forms of this species