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- Author or Editor: Paul W. Bosland x
During a natural field epidemic of curly top virus, accessions within five species of Capsicum were evaluated for resistance. Accessions were considered resistant if 0% to 25% of the individual plants were devoid of curly top virus symptoms. Resistance was found in three accessions each of C. annuum L. and C. frutescens L. and one accession each of C. chacoense Hunz. and C. chinense Jacq. The resistant C. annuum accessions were `Burpee Chiltepin', `NuMex Bailey Piquin', and `NuMex Twilight', while the C. frutescens resistant accessions were USDA-Grif 9322 from Costa Rica, PI 241675 from Ecuador and `Tabasco'. The resistant C. chacoense accession was PI 273419 from Argentina and the C. chinense resistant accession was USDA-Grif 9303 from Colombia.
The genus Capsicum provides a bountiful source of extraordinary genetic diversity with which to improve the cultivated species. Approximately 23 species are recognized within the genus. Five major cultivated species are derived from different ancestral stocks found in three distinct centers of origin. Mexico is the primary center for C. annuum, with Guatemala a secondary center; Amazonian for C. chinense and C. frutescens, and Peru and Bolivia for C. baccatum and C. pubescens. Several wild species are crossable to C. annuum, the most commercialized species. Capsicum inhabits a vast array of ecological zones. The wild species furnish a variation of mating systems, plant–animal interaction, patterns of speciation, and other intriguing biological features. However, their potential value for improvement of Capsicum cultivars is under-exploited. Such genetic resources clearly deserve more intensive investigation.