Diversity in Capsicum Landraces Cultivated in Brazil

R.S. Neitzke, R.L. Barbieri, C.S. Vasconcelos, D. Priori, S.Z. Fischer, M.L.D. Götzke, C.M. Romano , G. Heiden
In Brazil many Capsicum landraces are cultivated. The Capsicum Active Germplasm Bank of Embrapa Temperate Agriculture, located in southern Brazil, is involved in activities from collecting landraces of peppers to ex situ conservation since 2003. Today, this bank has 265 accessions, collected from farmers of different Brazilian regions. These accessions are landraces traditionally grown by farmers, who make selections and produce their own seeds for planting in their fields. The objective of this work is to report on the diversity of landraces conserved in the Capsicum Active Germplasm Bank of Embrapa Temperate Agriculture. In the bank there are accessions of C. annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense and C. frutescens landraces cultivated in Brazil. Morphological characterization allows the identification of a wide range of genetic diversity for traits such as colour, shape, size of leaves, plant height and growth habit. Among the accessions can be found landraces in which the fruits show different colours such beige, yellow, orange, red or purple. Fruits of different landraces have distinct shapes, as blocky, campanulate, elongate, almost round or triangular, with different sizes and pungencies (from sweet to very hot). By morphological and agro-nomic evaluation of these accessions it was possible to distinguish them and indicate the most promising accessions for use in breeding programmes for specific purposes. In this collection there are accessions with great potential for ornamental use because of traits highly desirable for this purpose, such as compact architecture of plant, erect fruit that show several colours during the ripening process. Other accessions are ideal for the preparation of pickles and others for the processing of spices. Landraces without pungency can be directed to the fresh market. This Germplasm Active Bank represents important diversity of Capsicum landraces grown in Brazil. These landraces can be used as a source of variability in different breeding programs.
Neitzke, R.S., Barbieri, R.L., Vasconcelos, C.S., Priori, D., Fischer, S.Z., Götzke, M.L.D., Romano , C.M. and Heiden, G. (2011). Diversity in Capsicum Landraces Cultivated in Brazil. Acta Hortic. 918, 531-536
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.918.66
peppers, Solanaceae, genetic resources, ex situ conservation, active germplasm bank, morphological characterization

Acta Horticulturae