PA-559, a Root-knot Nematode-resistant, Red-fruited, Habanero-type Pepper

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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, 2700 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29414-5334

PA-559 is a new Habanero-type pepper [Capsicum chinense Jacq.] released 18 Sept. 2008 by the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). PA-559 is a red-fruited, advanced breeding line that is homozygous for a dominant gene conditioning a high level of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White], the peanut root-knot nematode [M. arenaria (Neal) Chitwood], and the tropical root-knot nematode [M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood]. The release of PA-559 will provide pepper breeders interested in developing both open-pollinated and F1 hybrid cultivars access to a near-cultivar quality parental line that is homozygous for the root-knot nematode resistance gene.

Origin

In 1995, a recurrent backcross breeding procedure was initiated to transfer the dominant root-knot nematode resistance gene from a Scotch Bonnet accession into a classical Habanero-type background (Fig. 1). The donor parent was PA-426 and the recurrent parent was PA-350. PA-426 is a root-knot nematode-resistant, Scotch Bonnet-type germplasm line that was released by the USDA in 1997 (Fery and Thies, 1997, 1998b; Thies and Fery, 2001). PA-350, susceptible to root-knot nematodes, is a Habanero-type cultigen obtained from an heirloom collector. In 2002, a total of 63 BC4F3 populations were evaluated in a greenhouse test for reaction to M. incognita and in a replicated field test for horticultural characteristics. Although superior, root-knot nematode-resistant, orange-fruited BC4F3 populations were identified in these 2002 tests, no resistant, red-fruited BC4F3 populations were found. However, one of the susceptible red-fruited BC4F3 populations (02-535-3) did exhibit superior horticultural characteristics, and a single plant from this population was subsequently crossed with a single plant from one of the resistant, orange-fruited BC4F3 populations (02-530-2) to initiate a pedigree breeding procedure to develop a root-knot nematode-resistant, red-fruited, Habanero-type line. PA-559 was derived from a single F3 (BC4F3 × BC4F3) plant grown in 2005. Both of the parental lines used in the last cross are sister lines of the orange-fruited, root-knot nematode-resistant cultivar TigerPaw-NR that was released by the USDA in 2006 (Fery and Thies, 2007).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Pedigree of PA-559 pepper.

Citation: HortScience horts 45, 5; 10.21273/HORTSCI.45.5.822

Description

PA-559 has a compact plant habit (height = 47 cm; width = 80 cm) and produces lantern-shaped, red-colored fruit (Fig. 2). The period from transplanting to first harvest of mature fruit ranges from 78 to 97 d at Charleston, SC. There are usually two pedicels per axil and the pedicel position at anthesis is intermediate. Flower color is white and the stamens have white filaments and purple anthers. At full anthesis, the length of the style is slightly longer than the stamen. The leaves are large and have a lanceolate shape. The stems and leaves are glabrous. There is no visible presence of anthocyanin on the pedicels, a very slight presence of visible anthocyanin on the stems and branches, and an intermediate presence of visible anthocyanin on the petioles. The fruits are attached to the pedicel in a pendant manner (typically two fruit per cluster); the calyx margin shape is dentate; the annular constriction at the junction of the calyx and pedicel is absent; and the pedicels are short, curved, and slender.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

A typical fruiting plant of the root-knot nematode-resistant Habanero-type pepper PA-559.

Citation: HortScience horts 45, 5; 10.21273/HORTSCI.45.5.822

Observations of field plantings conducted at Charleston, SC, in 2006 through 2008 indicate that the fruit characteristics of PA-559 are comparable to those of currently available Habanero-type cultivars (Fig. 3). A typical fruit weighs 7.8 to 8.3 g and is campanulate or lantern-shaped (2.3 to 2.7 cm wide × 4.2 to 4.6 cm long). The shape of the pedicel attachment end of the fruit is truncate, the neck at the base of the fruit is absent, and the shape at the blossom end of the fruit is blunt. The fruit cross-section is slightly corrugated. The fruit wall is thin (2.0 to 2.1 mm). The color of immature fruit is green; the color of harvest-stage fruits is a bright red (Munsell color rating: 6.4 R 3.7/9.4). The fruits are extremely pungent (256,433 Scoville heat units), and a typical fruit has three locules (average number of locules: 3.1 to 3.2).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Freshly harvested fruit of the red-fruited PA-559 (left) and the orange-fruited commercial cultivar Habanero (right).

Citation: HortScience horts 45, 5; 10.21273/HORTSCI.45.5.822

PA-559 is homozygous for a dominant gene that conditions resistance to the southern root-knot nematode (Fery and Thies, 1998a). This C. chinense resistance gene is allelic to the dominant gene that conditions much of the southern root-knot nematode resistance in the C. annuum cv. Carolina Cayenne (Fery and Thies, 1998a). ‘Carolina Cayenne’ is a highly resistant cultivar whose resistance is derived from the C. annuum cayenne-type cultivar Carolina Hot (Fery et al., 1986). Fery and Dukes (1996) reported that the resistance in ‘Carolina Hot’ is conditioned by two genes, one dominant and one recessive; they demonstrated that the dominant gene in ‘Carolina Hot’ is allelic to the single dominant gene (N) that conditions the M. incognita resistance in the C. annuum cv. Mississippi Nemaheart. Thies and Fery (2000) used two isogenic sets of bell pepper lines (differing at the N locus) to characterize the impact of the N gene on resistance to the peanut root-knot nematode, the tropical root-knot nematode, and the northern root-knot nematode (M. hapla Chitwood). Although they noted that the N gene did not condition resistance to the northern root-knot nematode, they did demonstrate that the gene conditions a high level of resistance to both the peanut and tropical root-knot nematodes.

The N root-knot nematode resistance gene was first described in 1957 (Hare, 1957). It needs to be noted that the N gene-mediated root-knot nematode resistance trait exhibited by both ‘Carolina Hot’ and ‘Mississippi Nemaheart’ has remained effective for decades; ‘Carolina Hot’ was released in the late 1950s (Martin and Crawford, 1958) and ‘Mississippi Nemaheart’ was released in the mid-1960s (Hare, 1966).

PA-559 exhibited a high level of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode in all greenhouse tests; the numbers of galls and egg masses on the roots have always been minimal. The results of a six-replicate test conducted in greenhouse soil benches infested with M. incognita race 3 showed that PA-559 roots yielded 97.6% fewer M. incognita eggs per gram fresh root than did roots of the susceptible recurrent parent PA-350 (Table 1). The resistance exhibited by PA-559 is equal to that exhibited by the donor of the resistant gene, PA-426.

Table 1.

Average root-gall index, average egg mass index, and average number of eggs per g fresh root tissue for PA-559, PA-350 (susceptible Habanero-type recurrent parent), PA-426 (resistant Scotch Bonnet-type donor parent), and PA-136 (susceptible Capsicum annuum control) plants grown in soil infested with the southern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita race 3 (greenhouse experiment).z

Table 1.

The root-knot nematode-resistant PA-559 is recommended for use as a parental line by pepper breeders interested in developing root-knot nematode-resistant cultivars of Habanero-type peppers. The dominant nature of the gene conditioning the root-knot nematode resistance trait would make PA-559 useful as an inbred parent for development of root-knot nematode-resistant F1 hybrids. PA-559 is a well-adapted, Habanero-type pepper and is potentially useful in commercial production without further development.

Availability

Small trial samples of PA-559 breeder's seed are available from the senior author for distribution to all interested research personnel. Genetic material of this release will be deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System where it will be available for research purposes, including the development and commercialization of new cultivars. It is requested that appropriate recognition of the source be given when this germplasm contributes to research or development of a new breeding line or cultivar.

Literature Cited

  • Fery, R.L. & Dukes, P.D. 1996 The inheritance of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode in ‘Carolina Hot’ cayenne pepper J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121 1024 1027

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  • Fery, R.L., Dukes, P.D. & Ogle, W.L. 1986 ‘Carolina Cayenne’ pepper HortScience 21 330

  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 1997 Evaluation of Capsicum chinense Jacq. cultigens for resistance to the southern root-knot nematode HortScience 32 923 926

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  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 1998a Genetic analysis of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode in Capsicum chinense Jacq J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 123 1008 1011

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  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 1998b PA-353, PA-398, and PA-426: Southern root-knot nematode-resistant Capsicum chinense Jacq. germplasm lines HortScience 33 760 761

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  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 2007 ‘TigerPaw-NR’, a root-knot nematode-resistant, Habanero-type pepper HortScience 42 1721 1722

  • Hare, W.W. 1957 Inheritance of resistance to root-knot nematodes in pepper Phytopathology 47 455 459

  • Hare, W.W. 1966 New pimiento is resistant to nematodes Mississippi Farm Res. 29 1 8

  • Hussey, R.S. & Barker, K.R. 1973 A comparison of methods of collecting inocula of Meloidogyne spp., including a new technique Plant Dis. Rptr. 57 1025 1028

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martin, J.A. & Crawford, J.H. 1958 Carolina hot pepper South Carolina Agr. Expt. Sta. Circ. 117

  • Thies, J.A. & Fery, R.L. 2000 Characterization of resistance conferred by the N gene to Meloidogyne arenaria Races 1 and 2, M. hapla, and M. javanica in two sets of isogenic lines of Capsicum annuum L J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 125 71 75

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    • Export Citation
  • Thies, J.A. & Fery, R.L. 2001 Characterization of Capsicum chinense cultigens for resistance to Meloidogyne arenaria, M. hapla, and M. javanica Plant Dis. 85 267 270

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Contributor Notes

We acknowledge Dr. Paul W. Bosland, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, for assistance in obtaining the pungency determination. The technical assistance of Floyd P. Maguire and Sharon Buckner, ARS-USDA, is also gratefully acknowledged.

To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail Richard.Fery@ars.usda.gov.

  • View in gallery

    Pedigree of PA-559 pepper.

  • View in gallery

    A typical fruiting plant of the root-knot nematode-resistant Habanero-type pepper PA-559.

  • View in gallery

    Freshly harvested fruit of the red-fruited PA-559 (left) and the orange-fruited commercial cultivar Habanero (right).

  • Fery, R.L. & Dukes, P.D. 1996 The inheritance of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode in ‘Carolina Hot’ cayenne pepper J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121 1024 1027

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fery, R.L., Dukes, P.D. & Ogle, W.L. 1986 ‘Carolina Cayenne’ pepper HortScience 21 330

  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 1997 Evaluation of Capsicum chinense Jacq. cultigens for resistance to the southern root-knot nematode HortScience 32 923 926

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 1998a Genetic analysis of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode in Capsicum chinense Jacq J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 123 1008 1011

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 1998b PA-353, PA-398, and PA-426: Southern root-knot nematode-resistant Capsicum chinense Jacq. germplasm lines HortScience 33 760 761

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fery, R.L. & Thies, J.A. 2007 ‘TigerPaw-NR’, a root-knot nematode-resistant, Habanero-type pepper HortScience 42 1721 1722

  • Hare, W.W. 1957 Inheritance of resistance to root-knot nematodes in pepper Phytopathology 47 455 459

  • Hare, W.W. 1966 New pimiento is resistant to nematodes Mississippi Farm Res. 29 1 8

  • Hussey, R.S. & Barker, K.R. 1973 A comparison of methods of collecting inocula of Meloidogyne spp., including a new technique Plant Dis. Rptr. 57 1025 1028

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martin, J.A. & Crawford, J.H. 1958 Carolina hot pepper South Carolina Agr. Expt. Sta. Circ. 117

  • Thies, J.A. & Fery, R.L. 2000 Characterization of resistance conferred by the N gene to Meloidogyne arenaria Races 1 and 2, M. hapla, and M. javanica in two sets of isogenic lines of Capsicum annuum L J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 125 71 75

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thies, J.A. & Fery, R.L. 2001 Characterization of Capsicum chinense cultigens for resistance to Meloidogyne arenaria, M. hapla, and M. javanica Plant Dis. 85 267 270

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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