Research Article
Variability in hot pepper for phytochemicals offers promising tools in plant-breeding programmes

Supradip Saha, N. K. Hedau, S. Kumar, V. Mahajan and H. S. Gupta

Acta Agriculture Scandinavica Section B-Soil & Plant Science, 2010, 60(3), 227-234. DOI: 10.1080/09064710902865714


Screening of natural biodiversity for the variation in quality traits is of prime importance for quality-breeding programmes. The objective of this investigation was to select candidate accession of hot pepper having high concentrations of ascorbic acid, capsaicin, β-carotene, and total phenols for use as parents in breeding for these compounds. Forty-two accessions of pepper (Capsicum annuum) were field grown and their mature fruits were analysed for their functional and nutritional composition. Wide variations were observed in most of the measurements, e.g. ascorbic acid (25-217mg per 100g), total phenolics (38.4-188.1mg per 100g catechol eq.), and capsaicin (0.08-0.67%), suggesting that there are considerable levels of genetic diversity. Across all accessions the concentration of ascorbic acid was negatively correlated with that of β-carotene (r=-0.33, p <0.05). Concentrations of L-ascorbic acid were significantly greater in VLC 22-I-2-1, VLC-29-II-1-1, VLC-30-I-1, and Janjeera Mirch compared with other accessions analysed. Total capsaicin concentrations were greatest (0.67%) in VLC-30-II-1 and lowest (0.08%) in VLC-32-3. Four factors were computed by principal-component analysis to explain 67% of the variation in the traits. The great variability for these phytochemicals suggests that these selected accessions may be useful as parents in breeding programmes to produce fruits with value-added traits.

ASCI-ID: 187-119

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