Biotech Updates

Draft of Chile Genomic Sequence Completed, Hope to Improve Chile Breeds

February 6, 2013

A high resolution draft of the chile pepper genome has been completed by researchers from New Mexico State University's (NMSU) Chile Pepper Institute and Seoul University in South Korea.

"Having a sequenced genome will unlock the genetic secrets of the chile pepper providing a powerful tool to examine previously unimagined questions and will accelerate efforts to breed improved cultivars," said Paul Bosland, NMSU Regents Professor and director of the university's Chile Pepper Institute.

According to the draft sequence, the chile pepper has approximately 3.5 billion base pairs and an estimated 37,000 chile pepper genes. NMSU researchers plan to use the data to decipher genes for resistance to chile wilt and to look at carotenoid genes for fortification in crops as well as in the food coloring industry.

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