CAPSICUM GENE BANK OF SOUTHERN BRAZIL
Many Capsicum landraces are cultivated in Brazil. Since 2002, pepper and sweet pepper landraces have been collected, conserved and characterized in a Capsicum gene bank maintained at Embrapa Clima Temperado, a research institution in southern Brazil. This gene bank is described in this paper. The geographic locations, common names, history of the collections and morphological description of the Capsicum accessions are recorded. Seeds are stored in a cold chamber at 4ºC. Plant cultivation in an experimental field allows species determination and seed multiplication. Morphological descriptors, as described by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, are used to characterize plants. The gene bank maintains 347 accessions, including 286 of C. baccatum, 22 of C. annuum, 15 of C. chinense, three of C. frutescens and 21 of unidentified Capsicum species. Eighty percent of the accessions are characterized and show high variation in fruit color, fruit shape and pungency within each species. Different common names are given to landraces by farmers. Generally, names are given according to fruit characteristics such as pungency, shape or colour. Pungent varieties are named pimenta (pepper), pimenta forte (strong pepper), pimentinha (small pepper), comari (bird pepper), malagueta and pimenta-de-cheiro (smelling pepper). Varieties without pungency are called pimenta doce or pimentão (sweet pepper). Pimenta-olho-de-pombo (pigeon eye pepper), pimentinha, pimentão-chapéu-de-padre (priest hat sweet pepper), pimentão-chapéu-de-bispo (bishop hat sweet pepper) and pimenta dedo-de-moça (girl finger pepper) are denominations based on fruit size and shape. Ornamental landraces are also conserved in the gene bank. The majority of the accessions (90%) were obtained in the southern Brazilian States of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná.
Barbieri, R.L., Heiden, G., Neitzke, R.S., Choer, E., Leite, D.L. and Garrastazú, M.C. (2007). CAPSICUM GENE BANK OF SOUTHERN BRAZIL. Acta Hortic. 745, 319-322
ex situ conservation, landraces, genetic resources, biodiversity