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Robert L. Jarret, Elizabeth Baldwin, Brian Perkins, Rod Bushway, and Kelly Guthrie

Capsicum frutescens L. is one of the five cultivated species in the genus Capsicum (Solanaceae) ( Heiser and Pickersgill, 1969 ) and is closely related to C. chinense Jacq. ( Baral and Bosland, 2004 ; Eshbaugh, 1976 ). Before Columbus, the

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Alejandra Nieto-Garibay and Enrique Troyo-Dieguez

Diurnal and seasonal water relations, soil humidity, transpiration, water demand, stomatal resistance, and fruit production, as well as some microclimatic parameters, were studied in a semidomesticated chile ecotype (Capsicum frutescens) under two treatments of plastic mulches, black and opaque, and compared with plants without a mulch in Baja California Sur, a Mexican semiarid state. Plants with opaque plastic mulch showed the highest chile production and total growth. The biggest transpiration rates from January to April was evidenced also by this treatment. The soil water content seemed to be determinant. Opaque plastic mulch plants had more soil moisture during the whole experiment. Plants without plastic mulch had the least chile production, with a lesser soil water content. These plants evidenced an osmotic adjustment under drought stress with low water potential, maintaining a partial turgor pressure, and stomatal regulation, in order to control the lost of water by transpiration.

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A. Nieto-Garibay and E. Troyo-Dieguez

Diurnal and seasonal water relations and ecophysiological variables (soil humidity, transpiration, evapotranspiration, stomatal resistance, morphological changes, production), matched with some microclimatological variables, were studied in a hot pepper (Capsicum frutescens) experimental plot. Two treatments of plants with plastic mulches were assigned, black and blank-opaque, to compare them with plants without a mulch, established at the Experimental Station of CIBNOR in La Paz Baja California Sur, Mexico. Plants with blank-opaque plastic mulch showed the highest values of flower number, fruit production, leaf area, and canopy-projected area. Also, the biggest evapotranspiration rates were recorded from January to April for plants under the blank-opaque plastic mulch. Soil water content appeared to be a primary determinant factor for production. Soils under the blank-opaque plastic mulch had the biggest water content along the experiment. Plants without any plastic mulch had the lowest availability of soil water, rendered the lowest fruit production, and registered the highest evapotranspiration rates. May and June were the months with the highest air temperature during the experiment. Plants with black plastic mulch had intermediate records among the other two groups. When plants were allowed to face a drought stress, they responded through an osmotic adjustment for maintaining a low water potential, and thus supporting a partial turgor pressure. This adjustment was evident to be coupled with a stomatal regulation in order to minimize the loss of water through the transpiration process. Some drought tolerance strategies as a leaf size reduction were more evident in plants without a mulch.

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Jit B. Baral and Paul W. Bosland

The species status of two morphologically closely related species, Capsicum frutescens L. and C. chinense Jacq., was investigated using typological, phylogenetic, and biological species concepts. Diagnostic morphological differences, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker-based cluster analysis, and hybrid analyses were used to delimit C. frutescens and C. chinense. In many cases two morphological characters, calyx constriction and flower position, can separate accessions of C. frutescens from C. chinense. The RAPD-based analysis clearly separated accessions of C. frutescens and C. chinense into two distinct groups. The average genetic similarity within C. frutescens and C. chinense accessions was 0.85 and 0.8, respectively, whereas the average genetic similarity between C. frutescens and C. chinense accessions was only 0.38. The progenies obtained from C. frutescens and C. chinense hybridization had reduced fertility. Based on these evidences, C. frutescens and C. chinense represent two morphologically diagnosable, phylogenetically distinct, and reproductively isolated species.

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Carl E. Motsenbocker

Field and greenhouse studies examined the fruit detachment force (FDF) and fruit and pedicel characteristics of two lines of tabasco pepper (Capsicum frutescens L.) at several stages of maturity. The detachment force of red-mature `McIlhenny Select' fruit at the calyx-fruit detachment area was lower than that of less mature fruit stages. The force required to detach red-mature Hard Pick (HP) tabasco fruit was higher than that of redmature `McIlhenny Select' fruit in the field and greenhouse. The fruit detachment force of red field-grown HP fruit was higher, and in the greenhouse was lower, than that of green or breaker fruit. HP fruit of all maturity stages, except red-mature, separated similarly to `McIlhenny Select' fruit with little or no fruit tissue attached to the calyx. Fruit detachment force was not correlated with any fruit or pedicel characteristics studied.

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Stanley Ries, Rebecca Baughan, Muraleedharan G. Nair, and Robert Schutzki

Several plant species that are not consumed by animals were collected, extracted with organic solvents, and tested at different venues for their effectiveness as animal feeding repellents. Species with the most repellent activity were daffodil (Narcissus pseudo narcissus), bearded iris (Iris sp.), hot pepper (Capsicum frutescens), catnip (Nepeta cataria) and peppermint (Mentha piperita). Considerable effort was expended to isolate and identify compounds from these species responsible for repellent activity. Eight chemicals have been isolated and purified, and four of them have been identified. Both daffodil and catnip contain more than one repellent, but none of the four compounds identified were common to both species. Combinations of extracts from more than one plant species proved to have more repellent activity than extracts from individual species used alone. In several tests these plant extracts proved to be as effective or better than available commercial repellents. A plethora of additives and surfactants were tested to increase repellent activity by enhancing the spreading, penetration or persistence of the extracts.

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Paul W. Bosland and Jit B. Baral

Nepal as determined by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA markers J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 127 316 324 Baral, J.B. Bosland, P.W. 2004 Unraveling the species dilemma Capsicum frutescens and C. chinense

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Judy A. Thies and Richard L. Fery

Several species of root-knot nematodes [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood, M. arenaria (Neal) Chitwood, M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood, and M. hapla Chitwood] are major pests of peppers (Capsicum spp.) in the United States and worldwide. Resistance to M. incognita, M. arenaria, and M. javanica has been identified in several Capsicum accessions, but there are few reports of resistance to M. hapla. Therefore, we selected a 10% core (440 accessions) of the 14 available Capsicum spp. in the Capsicum germplasm collection (3,731 accessions) maintained by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), and evaluated this core for resistance to M. hapla in unreplicated greenhouse tests. The 11 best (most resistant) and the 3 worst (most susceptible) accessions identified in these unreplicated tests were re-evaluated in a replicated greenhouse test. Seven of these 11 “best” accessions (PI 357613, PI 357503, PI 439381, PI 297493, PI 430490, PI 267729, and PI 441676) exhibited root gall severity indices <5.0 (1 = no galls; 9 = more than 80% of the root system covered with galls) in the replicated test, and each of these indices was significantly lower than the indices of the “worst” accessions and susceptible controls. Although a gall index <5.0 indicates a moderate level of resistance, more than 3000 M. hapla eggs were extracted per gram of fresh root tissue and the reproductive index was >1.0 for each of these accessions. These observations suggest that the most resistant accessions tested are somewhat susceptible to M. hapla. The results of our evaluation of a core of the USDA Capsicum germplasm collection demonstrates clearly that there is significant genetic variability within the overall collection for M. hapla resistance. Additionally, these results identify portions of the collection where future evaluations for M. hapla resistance should be focused. For example, the origin of the two most promising C. annuum accessions (PI 357613 and PI 357503) in the core was Yugoslavia. Thus, additional accessions from this temperate region of the world should receive priority attention in any effort to identify better sources of resistance in C. annuum to M. hapla.

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Lucia Villavicencio, Sylvia M. Blankenship, Douglas C. Sanders, and William H. Swallow

Bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) are classified as nonclimacteric fruits while some hot peppers have been reported as climacteric. Responses of peppers to exogenously applied ethylene-releasing compounds suggest ethylene involvement in the ripening process. Ethylene production and respiration rates in 13 cultivars of pepper: `Camelot', `Cherry Bomb', `Chiltepin', `Cubanelle', `Banana Supreme', `Habanero', `Hungarian Wax', `Mesilla', `Mitla', `Savory', `Sure Fire', `Tabasco', and `King Arthur' were studied under greenhouse and field conditions. Fruit from each cultivar were harvested at different maturity stages determined by color, ranging from mature-green to full red-ripe. Carbon dioxide and ethylene production were measured by gas chromatography. Both variables were significantly different among maturity stages for all cultivars. Respiration rates were between 16.5 and 440.3 mg·kg-1·h-1 CO2. Ethylene production ranged from 0.002 to 1.1 μL·kg-1·h-1. Two patterns of CO2 production were identified: higher CO2 production for mature-green fruit with successive decreases for the rest of the maturity stages or lower respiration rates for mature-green fruit with an increase in CO2 production either when fruit were changing color or once fruit were almost totally red. A rise in CO2 production was present for most cultivars. Ethylene evolution increased significantly at maturity or before maturity in all cultivars except `Cubanelle' and `Hungarian Wax'. Respiration rates and ethylene production were significantly different among cultivars at the mature-green and red stages.

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John R. Stommel, Mary J. Camp, Judith M. Dumm, Kathleen G. Haynes, Yaguang Luo, and Anne Marie Schoevaars

(Class 2); and accessions of Capsicum baccatum , Capsicum frutescens , and Capsicum chinense with thin-walled “aji”-like and tabasco pod types (Class 3) stored under passive modified atmosphere packaging conditions for 7 to 14 d. An inverse