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  • Author or Editor: Robert Steiner x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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The pathogen Phytophthora capsici Leon. is known to be a limiting factor of chile pepper (Capsicum L.) production around the world. The genetics of the resistance is becoming better understood due to the specific nature of the host-pathogen interaction, i.e., all plant organs are subject to infection. It has been shown that phytophthora root rot resistance and phytophthora foliar blight resistance are under different genetic mechanisms. This study aimed at understanding the inheritance of resistance of phytophthora stem blight and to determine whether phytophthora stem blight was the same disease syndrome as phytophthora root rot and phytophthora foliar blight. Stem cuttings of a segregating F2 population and testcross progeny facilitated the ability to screen for two disease syndromes concurrently. When the three disease syndromes were compared separately, the F2 populations fit a 3 resistant (R): 1 susceptible (S) ratio and the testcross progenies fit a 1R:1S ratio. When comparative studies were performed (stem vs. foliar and stem vs. root), the F2 populations fit a 9R/R:3R/S:3S/R:1S/S ratio and the testcross fit a 1R/R:1R/S:1S/R:1S/S ratio. These ratios are consistent of a single gene controlling the resistance of each system. Therefore, phytophthora stem blight, root rot, and foliar blight are three separate disease syndromes.

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Despite extensive breeding efforts, no pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum) cultivars with universal resistance to phytophthora root rot and foliar blight (Phytophthora capsici Leon) have been commercially released. A reason for this limitation may be that physiological races exist within P. capsici, the causal agent of phytophthora root rot and phytophthora foliar blight. Physiological races are classified by the pathogen's reactions to a set of cultivars (host differential). In this study, 18 varieties of peppers were inoculated with 10 isolates of P. capsici for phytophthora root rot, and four isolates of P. capsici for phytophthora foliar blight. The isolates originated from pepper plants growing in New Mexico, New Jersey, Italy, Korea, and Turkey. For phytophthora root rot, nine of the 10 isolates were identified as different physiological races. The four isolates used in the phytophthora foliar blight study were all determined to be different races. The identification of physiological races within P. capsici has significant implication in breeding for phytophthora root rot and phytophthora foliar blight resistance.

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Stip is a physiological disorder that affects certain pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivars, most notably bell-pod types. It has been attributed in the literature to nutrient imbalances, temperature extremes, and/or other environmental stressors. Symptoms present as brown, black, and yellow ovoid-shaped necrotic lesions ≈0.5 to 1.2 cm long by 0.5 cm wide. Between 2014 and 2015, symptomatic and asymptomatic pods were harvested from 15 commercial farms in southern New Mexico. Fluorescent microscopy comparisons of harvested symptomatic tissue revealed a unique fluorescent signature and the absence of chlorophyll. A new spectral peak centered around 560 nm was observed in symptomatic tissue. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses of these tissues detected significant differences in 13 metabolites, of which several have been associated with fruit maturation and/or senescence. This report represents the first combination of a detailed microscopic description and metabolite profile of field-grown symptomatic plants with this disorder.

Open Access