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- Author or Editor: Gregory Reeves x
This study established the heat levels for several high-heat chile pepper (Capsicum chinense) varieties (Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, Bhut Jolokia, Trinidad Scorpion, Douglah Trinidad Chocolate, and Trinidad 7-pot Jonah) to determine which variety has the highest average measured heat level and the relatedness of the chile peppers using molecular analysis. In replicated trials with appropriate controls at Las Cruces, NM, results show two ‘Trinidad Moruga Scorpion’ chile pepper plants reached more than two million Scoville heat units (SHU). This is the first confirmation of chile pepper fruit measuring more than two million SHU. A large range of heat levels was observed among the field plots—further supporting strong environmental effects on chile pepper pungency. ‘Trinidad Moruga Scorpion’ was significantly hotter than ‘Bhut Jolokia’, but ‘Trinidad 7-pot Jonah’, ‘Douglah Trinidad Chocolate’, and ‘Trinidad Scorpion’ did not differ significantly from ‘Bhut Jolokia’. Molecular analysis with randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers confirmed that the accessions are genetically unique. ‘Trinidad Moruga Scorpion’ belongs to the species C. chinense and is not the same chile pepper as ‘Bhut Jolokia’.
Phytophthora crown and root rot, caused by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora capsici, is a devastating disease of squash and pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo). No currently available cultivars provide complete resistance to this disease. Three newly developed squash lines and four hybrids were evaluated in greenhouse and field experiments for their resistance to phytophthora crown and root rot as well as for their horticultural performance. The three newly developed lines ranked among the most resistant entries included in 2 years of field trials. In addition, in a separate greenhouse experiment, one of the lines was shown to display the least severe disease symptoms among a group of accessions previously reported to possess partial resistance to phytophthora crown and root. Furthermore, the resistance was observed to be robust to several isolates of P. capsici. However, the phytophthora-resistant lines had reduced yield relative to standard squash cultivars. These lines are useful for continued breeding efforts toward a phytophthora crown and root rot-resistant cultivar.