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Mexico: Researchers create a new variety of chili pepper

Researchers from the Department of Horticulture of the Antonio Narro Autonomous Agricultural University (UAAAN) are evaluating the quality, performance, and resistance against pathogens of a new variety of chili peppers grown in the institution.

"Our university made crosses between a red pepper and a Capsicum annumm called mirador, a variety that is resistant to specialized forms of Fusarium oxysporum, to take advantage of their characteristics, extrapolating them or translating them as a pattern, and we are now testing them in this experiment," stated engineer Eliseo Ceron Polvadera, project collaborator and student of the master's in sciences of horticulture of the UAAAN.

The goal of this project, which is led by Dr. Valentin Robledo Torres, a research professor of the Department of Horticulture of the UAAAN and level I member of the National System of Researchers (SNI), is to verify if this type of materials of the UAAAN can surpass or imitate the results of commercial houses.
The graft consists of two parts: a graft and a rootstock. The rootstock is the lower part, which is the root and stem; while the graft is the aerial part, which is the stem and the vegetative part and the growing area of the plant.

"We are evaluating two materials as patterns and a material generated in our university; in the aerial part we are evaluating three commercial materials of three different colors of three seed houses. Our project is made up of a randomized block design to have a better comparison in the data," added the collaborator.

This research work has 624 stems that are being used in research and to contribute to the university dining hall of the UAAAN. The project is being carried out in a soil system inside a greenhouse. Researchers are seeking to achieve the same yields as in a soil with substrate, through the quality of this variety of red pepper generated in the UAAAN.

"This material could be applied in areas where they have problems with the pathogen, particularly some special forms of Fusarium oxysporum, this graft allows us to prevent this pathogen, which is in the soil and our crops, from developing. An ungrafted crop can be attacked by Fusarium and any other pathogen decreasing our yields. We, by applying this graft, boost our crops and ensure a good production," said scientist Ceron Polvadera.

The specialist said that, so far, the material developed by UAAAN has presented good yields, high capacity, and vigor, although it had shown deformation in some fruits. Researchers stressed that the results were preliminary and that they would continue to study the quality of the product until the final harvests of the project.

A small goldmine of vitamin C 
Currently, crop assessments continue. In the future, researchers will assess the nutritional quality of the material in vitamin C content and determine the amount of Brix degrees.

"I consider that the red pepper is a source of vitamin C that has not been exploited. It has more vitamin C than a lemon, and by comparing it we can see the potential that it has. Currently it has over 10 degrees Brix, the red pepper in average has six or seven and we are surpassing 10 to 12 degrees Brix," he said.

Researchers hope to ascertain that the preliminary results of this variety are conclusive to register it and transfer it to the agricultural sector for the benefit of producers.

"The material is currently giving us data, similar or much higher yields. We are getting very good results, we would like more support for the research. It is a variety generated in this area, and it can be tested in the northern part of the country for producers," said engineer Ceron Polvadera.


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