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Title: Ornamental peppers: breeding for a high value market

item Stommel, John

Submitted to: Eucarpia Genetics and Breeding of Capsicum and Eggplant Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2010
Publication Date: 7/1/2010
Citation: Stommel, J.R. 2010. Ornamental peppers: breeding for a high value market. Eucarpia Genetics and Breeding of Capsicum and Eggplant Meeting Proceedings. p. 521-528.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The use of ornamental peppers as bedding and garden plants has attracted renewed interest in recent years. Variation for fruit and leaf shape, size and color and varying hues of green to purple and variegated foliar pigmentation has stimulated the popularity of this species in the ornamental garden. To date however, nearly all ornamental peppers have been primarily developed based upon unique fruit characteristics. An abundance of genetic diversity in Capsicum L. for plant habit and fruit and leaf morphology provides new opportunities for plant breeders to meet demands for new ornamental and dual-purpose ornamental/culinary cultivars. In Capsicum, over 290 genes have been identified for unique horticultural characteristics. Attributes conditioned by many of these genes vary in their usefulness for crop improvement and the inheritance pattern for many of these genes has not been completely determined. New information on simply inherited and complex traits and relationships between unique foliar characters and diverse fruit and plant habit attributes will be discussed. Inheritance of fruit and foliar anthocyanin pigmentation will be presented in context with expression of anthocyanin-related structural and regulatory genes. Through selected breeding of Capsicum accessions we have developed new breeding lines and cultivars that combine unique foliar attributes with diverse fruit and plant habit attributes.