Development of Bell Peppers with Resistance to the Southern Root-knot Nematode

in HortScience

The southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) is a major pest of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) in the United States. Since none of the leading bell pepper cultivars grown in the U.S. exhibit adequate levels of resistance, a breeding program was initiated to incorporate the N root-knot nematode resistance gene into commercial bell pepper germplasm. A backcross breeding procedure was used. The donor parent of the N gene was the open-pollinated, pimiento pepper cultivar Mississippi Nemaheart, and the recurrent parents were the open-pollinated bell pepper cultivars Keystone Resistant Giant and Yolo Wonder. A large number of homozygous resistant BC6 populations were evaluated in field tests in 1995, and two lines (PA-440, an isoline of `Keystone Resistant Giant', and PA-453, an isoline of `Yolo Wonder') were selected for further field evaluation and seed multiplication in 1996. Results of replicated field and greenhouse tests conducted in 1996 indicate that root-knot nematode resistance has been incorporated successfully in `Keystone Resistant Giant' and `Yolo Wonder' backgrounds.

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