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Derek W. Barchenger, Robert A. Clark III, Paul A. Gniffke, Dolores R. Ledesma, Shih-wen Lin, Peter Hanson and Sanjeet Kumar

Multilocation trials are important for breeding programs to identify high-yielding, adapted lines for a wide range of environments. In this study, we evaluated yield and yield components (fruit weight, fruit length, and fruit width) as well as days to 50% anthesis and fruit maturity of the 10 chili pepper lines in the International Chili Pepper Nursey 15 (ICPN15) distributed by the World Vegetable Center to interested cooperators worldwide. Performance data of the ICPN15 entries were received from collaborators evaluating the set in seven different environments in five countries (Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam). Significant genotype-by-environment (G × E) interactions were detected for all traits evaluated. Additive main effect and multiplicative interaction analyses indicated high environmental influence on yield, days to 50% anthesis, and maturity, whereas genotype was the greatest contributor to variability in the market-driven yield components of fruit length, width, and weight. Four lines (ICPN15-4, -5, -7, and -10) were identified as highly stable and could serve as sources of yield and yield component stability in either short fruit market segments (ICPN15-4) or long fruit market segments (ICPN15-5, -7, and -10). We attempted to used publicly available weather data to help in explaining the source of the environmental variability; however, differences between analyzed and observed weather were too different to be useful. This is evidence that weather data should be collected at each testing environment in future studies. This study provides a basis for future studies in the stability of important horticultural traits in pepper, and highlights the need for further work in this area.