Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2010
Publication Date: 5/1/2010
Citation: Fery, R.L., Thies, J.A. 2010. PA-559, a Root-knot Nematode Resistant, Red-fruited, Habanero-type Pepper. HortScience. 45(5):822-823.
Interpretive Summary: The increasing popularity of hot peppers in the United States has created intense interest in the Habanero, an extremely pungent type of pepper belonging to the domesticated Capsicum species C. chinense. Root-knot nematodes are major pests of Habanero-type peppers, and the ideal solution to this pest problem would be the use of resistant cultivars. In 1995, efforts were initiated at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC, to transfer a root-knot nematode resistance gene from a Scotch Bonnet-type pepper into a red-fruited Habanero-type pepper. These efforts resulted in the 18 Sep 2008 release of the red-fruited, root-knot nematode resistant, advanced breeding line PA-559. The fruit and yield characteristics of PA-559 are comparable to those of currently available Habanero-type cultivars. PA-559 is recommended for use as a parental line by pepper breeders interested in developing root-knot nematode resistant cultivars of Habanero-type peppers. Since PA-559 is a well-adapted, Habanero-type pepper, it is potentially useful in commercial production without further development. In light of the restrictions on the use of methyl bromide to fumigate soils, the development of resistant cultivars is critical for continued production of Habanero-type peppers in areas where soils are infested with root-knot nemtodes.
Technical Abstract: The Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a new Habanero-type pepper designated PA-559. The new breeding line is the product of a recurrent backcross breeding procedure to incorporate a dominant root-knot nematode resistance gene from the Scotch Bonnet-type accession PA-426 into a red-fruited Habanero-type pepper. PA-559 was derived from a single F3(BC4F3 x BC4F3) plant grown in 2005. PA-559 is homozygous for a dominant gene conditioning a high level of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode, the peanut root-knot nematode, and the tropical root-knot nematode. PA-559 has a compact plant habit and produces lantern-shaped, red-colored fruit. Observations of field plantings conducted at Charleston, SC, indicate that the fruit characteristics of PA-559 are comparable to those of currently available Habanero-type cultivars. A typical fruit weighs 7.8 – 8.3 g, is 2.3 - 2.7 cm wide x 4.2 – 4.6 cm long, and is extremely pungent (256,433 Scoville heat units). PA-559 is recommended for use as a parental line by pepper breeders interested in developing root-knot nematode resistant cultivars of Habanero-type peppers. PA-559 is a well-adapted, Habanero-type pepper; it is potentially useful in commercial production without further development.