Genetic Diversity of Capsicum Peppers Revealed

Scientists from the University of California-Riverside have characterized the diversity of genes found in a collection of common cultivated pepper varieties. The study, which sampled 30,000 genes of the Capsicum annum species, provided information about the crop's genetic diversity and the relationships among different types of peppers. This genetic information will be critically important to plant breeders for developing hardier, higher yielding plants for production around the world.

There are 38 reported species of Capsicum peppers, including Capsicum annum -- the most commonly cultivated pepper species in the world. These species include a variety of peppers that are grown worldwide and valued as fresh vegetables, spices, medicinals and ornamental plants. Earlier studies indicate that the wild ancestors of all peppers grew in tropical South America, in a region centered in what is now Bolivia.

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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