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Variability among Capsicum baccatum accessions from Goiás, Brazil, assessed by morphological traits and molecular markers

Author(s): A.L.A. Martinez, J.S.P. Araújo, C.F. Ragassi, G.S.C. Buso and F.J.B. Reifschneider

Capsicum peppers are native to the Americas, with Brazil being a significant diversity center. Capsicum baccatum accessions at Instituto Federal (IF) Goiano represent a portion of the species genetic resources from central Brazil. We aimed to characterize a C. baccatum working collection comprising 27 accessions and 3 commercial cultivars using morphological traits and molecular markers to describe its genetic and morphological variability and verify the occurrence of duplicates. This set included 1 C. baccatum var. praetermissum and 29 C. baccatum var. pendulum with potential for use in breeding programs. Twenty-two morphological descriptors, 57 inter-simple sequence repeat, and 34 random amplified polymorphic DNA markers were used. Genetic distance was calculated through the Jaccard similarity index and genetic variability through cluster analysis using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean, resulting in dendrograms for both morphological analysis and molecular analysis. Genetic variability was found among C. baccatum var. pendulum accessions, and the distinction between the two C. baccatum varieties was evident in both the morphological and molecular analyses. The 29 C. baccatum var. pendulum genotypes clustered in four groups according to fruit type in the morphological analysis. They formed seven groups in the molecular analysis, without a clear correspondence with morphology. No duplicates were found. The results describe the genetic and morphological variability, provide a detailed characterization of genotypes, and discard the possibility of duplicates within the IF Goiano C. baccatum L. collection. This study will foment the use of this germplasm collection in C. baccatum breeding programs.