Biodiversity of hot pepper germplasm from the Vegetable Research Development Station Buzau, Romania

ISHS Secretariat
Biodiversity of hot pepper germplasm from the Vegetable Research Development Station Buzau, Romania

Ovidia Agapie is a junior research scientist at the Breeding and Biodiversity Department, part of Vegetable Research and Development Station Buzau, Romania. She is a PhD student at the University of Agronomic Science and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest and her thesis is entitled “Assessment of hot pepper germplasm collection from VRDS Buzau in order to obtain cultivars set by direction of use”, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Florin Stănică. Her research is focused on the breeding and maintenance of genetic resources of hot pepper to obtain new genotypes set by directions of use. In the last 20 years, the consumption of pepper has increased, with production ranging from 20 to 36 million tons per annum. The cultivated area has also increased by almost 35% over the last 2 decades. Further increases are expected due to the increasing demand for high-value nutritional products by consumers. Despite the positive trend, yields of pepper have steadily decreased around the world due to infections and related diseases from plant pathogens. At the XXXI International Horticultural Congress (IHC2022), Ovidia described for the first time the large-scale morphological characterization of the hot pepper germplasm collection at the Breeding and Biodiversity Department from VRDS Buzau, Romania. For two consecutive years (2020-2021), the germplasm collection, which consists of 203 hot pepper accessions, was evaluated from an agro-morphologic and biochemical point of view. The studied accession exhibited a wide variation in both qualitative and quantitative characters. Based on agro-morphological traits and hierarchical similarity, accessions were categorized into three groups. The phenotypic variation observed for agro-morphological traits was able to estimate the diversity between genotypes, providing an important tool for the knowledge and use of accessions in several breeding programs, including tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The results have demonstrated a great variability within the studied germplasm collection and the most important traits will be used in future breeding programs.

Ovidia Agapie won the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation at the International Symposium on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Horticultural Genetic Resources at IHC2022 in France in August 2022.

Ovidia Agapie, Breeding and Biodiversity Department, Vegetable Research and Development Station Buzau, Mesteacanului 23, 120024 Buzau, Romania, e-mail:

The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae

hot pepper
Young Minds Award Winners