The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES) at Weslaco announces the release of ‘TAM Dulcito’, a multiple virus-resistant, nonpungent pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). The project to breed virus-resistant peppers at the TAES began in 1971. Several cultivars of virus-resistant jalapeños have been released over the last 20 years (Villalon, 1983; Villalon et al., 1992, 1994). The production of hot and sweet peppers in Texas has fluctuated from 1200 to 7000 ha over the last 30 years. Currently, close to 2500 ha are cultivated statewide (Smith and Anciso, 2005). One of the most persistent problems on pepper production in south Texas has been virus infection. The two most serious virus pathogens are Tobacco etch virus (TEV) and Pepper mottle virus (PepMoV), both transmitted by aphids, primarily the cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii Glover) and the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer). Historically, most jalapeño cultivars grown in south Texas have been susceptible to local strains of both TEV and PepMoV. Yield reductions from infected plants have been as high as 45%, particularly when fruit is intended for the fresh market (Greenleaf, 1986). The best solution to the problem is the development of resistant cultivars with high-quality fruit. Multiple sources of single resistance genes against these potyviruses have been documented in various germplasm lines (Cook, 1960; Greenleaf, 1956; Kyle and Palloix, 1997; Zitter and Cook, 1973).
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Smith, D.T. & Anciso, J.L. 2005 The crops of Texas. Department Technical Report SCS-2005-01 Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Texas A&M University System