Reduced Seed Count Improves Versatility and Propagation of Small-fruited Peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) for Specialty Markets

in HortScience

Small/miniature sweet and hot peppers (Capsicum annuum L.), such as snack peppers, are a rapidly growing class of specialty peppers. Low seed count is an important attribute for consumer acceptance of small-fruited specialty peppers. Four inbred U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) C. annuum breeding lines exhibiting uniformity for pod type and size and normal or reduced seed count were selected for producing F1 and segregating F2 and backcross generations. Seed content of F1 hybrids and progeny produced from the backcross of F1 hybrids to normal seed count parents exhibited unimodal frequency distributions and skewed toward the parent with normal seed count. Progeny produced from backcrosses to the reduced seed count parent exhibited bimodal population distributions representative of the respective parental phenotypes. F2 populations approximated 3:1 frequency distributions skewed toward normal-seeded parental phenotypes. Chi-square tests supported a single recessive gene model with potential modifiers controlling inheritance of reduced seed count. Genetic variants with reduced seed count facilitate seed production and propagation of specialty market class peppers.

Contributor Notes

Mention of trade names or commercial products is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corresponding author. E-mail: john.stommel@ars.usda.gov.

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    Population distributions for pepper fruit seed count in parental (P1 = G15C98; P2 = G15C99), F1 hybrid, F2, and backcross generations from the cross of G15C98 × G15C99. BCP1 and BCP2 are the backcross of the F1 to G15C98 (P1) and G15C99 (P2), respectively.

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    Population distributions for pepper fruit seed count in parental (P1 = G15C104; P2 = G15C105), F1 hybrid, F2, and backcross generations from the cross of G15C104 × G15C105. BCP1 and BCP2 are the backcross of the F1 to G15C104 (P1) and G15C105 (P2), respectively

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