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Genetic divergence of physiological-quality traits of seeds in a population of peppers

Author(s): A.M.S. Pessoa, P.A. Barroso, E.R. do Rêgo, G.D.A. Medeiros, R.L.A. Bruno and M.M. do Rêgo

Brazil has a great diversity of Capsicum peppers that can be used in breeding programs. The objective of this study was to evaluate genetic variation in traits related to the physiological quality of seeds of Capsicum annuum L. in a segregating F2 population and its parents. A total of 250 seeds produced by selfing in the F1 generation resulting from crosses between UFPB 77.3 and UFPB 76 were used, with 100 seeds of both parents used as additional controls, totaling 252 genotypes. The seeds were germinated in gerboxes containing substrate blotting paper moistened with distilled water. Germination and the following vigor tests were evaluated: first count, germination velocity index, and root and shoot lengths. Data were subjected to analysis of variance, and means were compared by Scott and Knott’s method at 1% probability. Tocher’s clustering based on Mahalanobis distance and canonical variable analysis with graphic dispersion of genotypes were performed, and genetic parameters were estimated. All variables were found to be significant by the F test (P ≤ 0.01) and showed high heritability and a CVg/CVe ratio higher than 1.0, indicating genetic differences among genotypes. Parents (genotypes 1 and 2) formed distinct groups in all clustering methods. Genotypes 3, 104, 153, and 232 were found to be the most divergent according to Tocher’s clustering method, and this was mainly due to early germination, which was observed on day 14, and would therefore be selected. Understanding the phenotypic variability among these 252 genotypes will serve as a basis for continuing the breeding program within this family.