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Teresa K. Howe

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Peter J. Stoffella, Salvador J. Locascio, Teresa K. Howe, Steve M. Olson, Kenneth D. Shuler and Charles S. Vavrina

Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivars were grown in nine Florida environments to evaluate phenotypic stability of marketable fruit yield (t-ha-') and mean fruit size (g/fruit). A stable cultivar excelled for a particular trait when grown in either favorable or unfavorable environments. A stable cultivar for a given trait was defined as one with an individual mean greater than the grand mean (mean of all cultivars) (x > X), a regression coefficient (b1) ≤ 1 (individual genotypic mean regressed against environmental means), nonsignificant deviation mean squares from regression (S2d), coefficient of linear determination (R2) > 0.50, and coefficient of variation (cv) < the pooled cv. `Ssupersweet 860', `Whopper Improved', and `Ranger' were stable for mean marketable fruit weights and fruit size, and `Ssupersweet 860' and `Whopper Improved' were stable for mean fruit size. Bell pepper cultivars were differentiated for phenotypic stability of yield and fruit size or adaptability to diverse environments. Therefore, through stability analyses, bell pepper plant breeders can identify cultivars or select advanced breeding lines that express adaptability for fruit yields or size to diverse environmental conditions or cultural practices.