Source: UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT MAYAGUEZ submitted to
PUMPKIN AND SWEET CHILI PEPPER FOR PUERTO RICO: VARIETY IMPROVEMENT, VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
REVISED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1000526
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
PR00443
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2013
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2017
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Wessel-Beaver, LI.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT MAYAGUEZ
P. O. BOX 9000
MAYAGUEZ,PR 00681
Performing Department
Agroenvironmental Sciences
Non Technical Summary
Two typical vegetable crops in Puerto Rico are tropical pumpkin (a type of winter squash) and a small, aromatic pepper (locally called a "sweet chili pepper"). Pumpkin is consumed on a daily basis in Puerto Rico and sweet chili pepper is an important condiment in regional dishes. Local growers face many challenges in the production of these vegetable crops. Farmers need varieties with desirable traits including good yield and fruit quality, pest resistance and good flavor and nutritional attributes in order to profitably grow vegetables and to provide consumers with the high quality products they demand. Our research aims to develop and release improved tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper varieties for use by farmers and gardeners. We will do this by studying how certain genes provide resistance in tropical pumpkin to important viral diseases affecting growers in Puerto Rico. These genes will be incorporated into new varieties using classical plant breeding methods. We will evaluate and document the nutritional content and physical characteristics of tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper varieties. We will develop and test a new dried sweet chili pepper value-added product that could provide growers with additional market possibilities. Finally, throughout the duration of this project we will carry out user surveys on purchasing, use and consumption of vegetables, and surveys on acceptance of new sweet chili pepper and pumpkin varieties and products. This information will help to guide researchers during development of new varieties and well as provide growers and marketers of pumpkin and pepper with useful marketing information.
Animal Health Component
40%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
10%
Applied
40%
Developmental
50%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2011429108020%
2011461108015%
2121429116020%
7011429100010%
7011461100010%
5021461100010%
6076010301015%
Goals / Objectives
1. Develop and release improved tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper lines, cultivars and germplasm.2. Characterize known resistances in tropical pumpkin germplasm to key viruses of the Potyviridae and use this resistance in cultivar improvement.3.Carry out organoleptic and nutritional characterization of current and new tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper germplasm.4. Develop and test a dried sweet chili pepper value-added product.5. Carry out user surveys on purchasing, use and consumption of vegetables, and surveys on acceptance of new sweet chili pepper and pumpkin varieties and products.
Project Methods
Potyvirus resistant tropical pumpkin materials will be evaluated in trials during years 1 and 2. Previously developed lines and OP varieties will be crossed to form new populations. A pedigree selection scheme will be used from the F2 to the F5 generation, advancing 1 to 2 generations per year. Fruit size and shape, flesh thickness and Undergraduate students in agricultural economics courses and graduate students will be recruited to assist with survey work. Efforts that will cause a change of knowledge include presentations at scientific conferences, informal interactions and discussions with other research scientists and publications in professional journals. Growers will be informed of the availability of new varieties at commodity meetings and in field demonstrations. Seed of new tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper varieties will be distributed to growers. Survey results will be shared with participants (growers, wholesalers, retailers, etc. of vegetables) as well as with other scientists. Methods of producing new dried pepper products will be demonstrated and published.

Progress 10/01/14 to 09/30/15

Outputs
Target Audience:For this reporting period, the project targets public and private sector scientists (plant breeders and plant pathologists) working with cucurbits and peppers, and vegetable growers in Puerto Rico and the mainland US, including both commercial growers and home gardeners. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Project PIs and graduate students have attended two international scientific conferences and one local conference where they have had the opportunity to increase their knowledge and expertise in vegetable breeding and genomics, plant pathology, vegetable production and food science and technology. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?A field day was held at the Juana Diaz substation with approximately 40 participants in attendance including extension agents, growers and home gardeners. Descriptions of recently released varieties of sweet chili pepper were provided. Participants visited a tropical pumpkin field trial and were able to dialogue with the vegetable extension agent and vegetable plant breeder about their production problems as well as see what new materials are being developed in the pumpkin breeding program. Seed of both tropical pumpkin (calabaza) and sweet chili pepper (aji dulce) was produced, and both small and large seed packets sold to growers and home gardeners. There is a very high demand for seed (demand is higher than supply). Posters have been placed at the point of sale that describe the varieties and other ongoing research related to vegetable breeding. In collaboration with the extension home economists across the island, visits were made to ten women's groups. Samples of each of the new sweet chili pepper varieties were presented during a brief program explaining how new varieties are developed, and participants were asked for their opinions relating to consumer acceptance in both a formal survey and in open-format dialogue sessions. Seed of five new sweet chili pepper cultivars were sent to the agricultural extension vegetable specialist at the University of Massachusetts where a two field trials were conducted. There is strong interest among growers in US to produce specialty vegetable crops of cultural importance to Hispanic and other ethnic groups and the Northeast has a very large Hispanic population. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? 1. Develop and release improved tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper lines, cultivars and germplasm. Eight advanced lines of tropical pumpkin were tested in the field for horticultural traits and in the greenhouse for potyvirus resistance. Two lines, PR410 and PR443 were found to be resistantto both PRSV and ZYMV. Both of these lines are derived from a cross between Nigerian Local (the source of resistance) and local cultivar Soler which appears to carry some genes for resistance. Six other lines were identified as being resistant to ZYMV (PR408, PR425) or PRSV (PR450, PR465). These lines will be further tested and potentially released as improved germplasm. 2. Characterize known resistances in tropical pumpkin germplasm to key viruses of the Potyviridae and use this resistance in cultivar improvement. Nigerian Local has been previously used as our main source of potyvirus (PRSV and ZYMV) resistance. During this reporting period we conducted experiments to compare how a new source of resistance, Menina, compares to Nigerian Local. In field trials, Menina was found to have more favorable horticultural characteristics, potentially making it a better source of potyvirus resistance than Nigerian Local which is characterized by its very poor horticultural aspects. In greenhouse inoculation experiments, Menina was found to be not significantly different than Nigerian Local in terms of resistance based on ELISA readings and virus symptoms. In preparation for future inheritance studies, F1 populations of crosses between potyvirus resistant genotypes of tropical pumpkin Nigerian Local and Menina and susceptible cultivars Taina Dorada, Verde Luz, Waltham and Soler where produced. The F1 populations were planted and are being selfed to obtain F2 populations for inheritance studies. The F1 population of Menina x Nigerian Local was also produced for a future study to determine if these two sources of resistance are allelic. In separate experiments, Cucurbita moschata genotypes known to vary from resistant to susceptible were inoculated (cotyledons of 7 day old seedlings) with two potyviruses: Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) or Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV). The 1st to the 4th leaf (oldest to youngest) was sampled at approximately 21 days post-inoculation (as the 5th leaf was beginning to emerge). Analysis of variance was used to test the relative importance of variation among genotypes, plants within genotypes, leaf position within plants, quadrants within leaves, and ELISA determinations within quadrants (subsamples). Leaves were treated as subplots (fixed) and quadrants (random) were considered to be nested within leaves. For both ZYMV and PRSV, there were significant differences in ELIZA readings among the tested genotypes, and the variation in ELISA readings among the four leaf quadrants was no greater than the variation among the two determinations per quadrant (subsamples of sap from the tissue of the same leaf quadrant). On the other hand, for both potyviruses there were highly significant differences in ELISA readings among the four leaf positions sampled in each plant, but also a highly significant leaf x genotype cross-over-type interaction. In the case of ZYMV, using ELISA readings from either the 3rd or 4th leaf (youngest leaves) produced the same genotype rankings for resistance. For PRSV, ELISA from the 4th leaf ranked the genotypes in the expected manner (with 'Waltham' the most susceptible and 'Nigerian Local' the most resistant). We conclude that a single tissue sample from the 4th leaf of an approximately 4-week-old seedling can be used to compare resistance to ZYMV and PRSV in C. moschata using ELISA. It should also be noted that when a large number of genotypes need to be phenotyped at the same time, factors other than within plant variation may impact ELISA readings, including lack of uniformity in plant-to-plant inoculation technique and plate-to-plate variation. 3. Carry out organoleptic and nutritional characterization of current and new tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper germplasm. Characterization of sweet chili pepper varieties was continued. The range of values of minerals analyzed in sweet chili pepper fruit was: aluminum 12.22 to 19.15ug/g, boron 7.25 to 10.95ug/g, calcium 0.03-0.05 wt%, copper 1.84-2.43ug/g, iron 33.88 to 47.66 ug/g, potassium 1.43 to 1.59 wt%, magnesium 0.12 to 0.22 wt%, manganese 2.6 to 4.35ug/g, molybdenum 0.01 to 4.84 ug/g, nitrogen 1.93 to 2.17wt%, sodium 120.5 to175.84 ug/g, phosphorous 0.17 to 0.24 wt% and zinc 3.78 to 7.87 ug/g. Antioxidant capacity (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydracyl (DPPH)) was evaluated and ranged from 105.16 to 185.84 uM/g. Total phenolic content (Folin-Ciocalteu method) varied from 249.90 to 302.28 mg GAE/100 g FW. Beta-carotene (ultraviolet-visible Spectroscopy (UV-Vis)) ranged from 13.79 to 14.43 mg/g of sample. Vitamin C content (2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol method) varied from 79.83 to 103.84 mg/100g. Capsaicinoid content (HPLC) ranged from 0.0018 mg/g to 0.0021 mg/g. Pasión had the highest content of dietary fiber (7.09g/100g±0.75) and protein (0.86g/100g±0.01) and Bonanza had the highest capsaicinoid content (0.0021mg/g). Carnaval had the highest content of total phenolics (302.28±14.19 mg GAE/100g), Vitamin C (103.84±2.84 mg/100g) and Beta-carotene (14.43±0.27 mg/g). This mineral and phytochemical characterization is the first nutritional value report of the four improved cultivars of Capsicum chinense developed in the UPR-AES. 4. Develop and test a dried sweet chili pepper value-added product. There have been no accomplishments to date for this goal. 5. Carry out user surveys on purchasing, use and consumption of vegetables, and surveys on acceptance of new sweet chili pepper and pumpkin varieties and products. A survey instrument for sweet chili pepper was given to about 120 women (participants in women's groups organized by home economists in municipalities across Puerto Rico) and an open-format dialogue was carried out with these same participants in order to better understand consumers impressions of sweet chili pepper varieties being developed by this project. Survey results have not yet been analyzed.

Publications

  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Aponte-L�pez, C.M., M.J. Cafaro, L. Wessel-Beaver. 2015. Growth response of Aj� dulce (Capsicum chinense) to commercial Glomus intraradices. 8th International Conference on Mycorrhiza, Northern Arizona University, Aug. 3-7, 2015, Abstracts p. 10 (PS 3-21).
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Hern�ndez-Zerega, L., R.N. Ch�vez-J�uregui, L. Wessel-Beaver and J.A. Dumas. 2015. Compositional and phytochemical characterization of four improved varieties of Puerto Rico sweet chili pepper (Capsicum chinense). Acta de la Sociedad Puertorrique�a de Ciencias Agr�colas, November 2015, Coamo, Puerto Rico. p. 5.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Hern�ndez-Zerega, L., R.N. Ch�vez-J�uregui, L. Wessel-Beaver and J.A. Dumas. 2015. Quality parameters in Puerto Rico sweet chili peppers (Capsicum chinense). Anais do Simp�sio Latino Americano de Ci�ncia de Alimentos 11SLACA. ISSN:2447-2840 vol 2, 2015-35107. November 2015, Campinas, S�o Paulo, Brazil.


Progress 10/01/13 to 09/30/14

Outputs
Target Audience: For this reporting period, the project targets scientists working in both the public and private sector in plant breeding and plant pathology of vegetable crops, in particular cucurbit crops and the Capsicums (peppers). Vegetable growers in Puerto Rico and the mainland US are another important target audience, in particular growers of squash/pumpkins and specialty peppers that will be of interest to Hispanic ethnic groups. The project also targets home gardeners in Puerto Rico. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Five masters-level graduate students and two undergraduate students have been participated in this research during this year. Students have been able to improve their skill in the use of various laboratory equipment, field experimental design, development of survey instruments and data analysis. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Small seed samples of the five experimental lines are available to growers and home gardeners at the Isabela Substation. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? 1. Develop and release improved tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper lines, cultivars and germplasm Experimental tropical pumpkin lines were advanced (self-pollinated) another generation (to the F4 or F5). Enough F4 or F5 seed is now available for a replicated field trial. Five experimental lines (G2, G6, G8, G11 and S7) were evaluated in replicated trials at three locations (Mayaguez, Lajas and Isabela). The germplasm was evaluated for plant development over time, fruit yield, fruit size and fruit shape. Fruit from these trials were also used for organoleptic and nutritional characterization as described below. Each line has very distinct phenotypic traits. All five lines appear to merit formal release. The seed of an additional five sweet chili pepper lines introduced from Oregon State University have been increased in order to include this germplasm in future replicated trials. 2. Characterize known resistances in tropical pumpkin germplasm to key viruses of the Potyviridae and use this resistance in cultivar improvement. The primary potyviruses in tropical pumpkin are Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). In order to better understand the dynamic of these virus in the field we analyzed data collected from a field survey of 390 cucurbit samples. We observed a strong relationship between these two potyviruses. A total of 66% of samples were positive for PRSV when ZYMV was positive, but only 32% of the samples were positive for PRSV when ZYMV was negative. There was no relationship between habitat (defined as agricultural, rural non-agricultural, and urban) and the relative frequency of PRSV or ZYMV. The absence of virus-like symptoms in the samples collected was not associated with the absence of PRSV or ZYMV infection. 3. Carry out organoleptic and nutritional characterization of current and new tropical pumpkin and sweet chili pepper germplasm. Five experimental lines of sweet chili pepper has been characterized for percentage dry matter, ash, fiber, fat, carbohydrates, protein,total polyphenols, brix, pH, and total acidity in mature fruit samples. In addition, we characterized both immature (green) and mature (orange or red) fruits of each line for color by determining L, chroma and hue angle. Each line was found to have unique combinations of these attributes. To our knowledge, this is the first time sweet chili pepper (non-pungent types of Capsicum chinense), either from Puerto Rico or other areas of the region, has been characterized for these attributes. This information will enable us to more precisely describe the uniqueness of each line when they are formally released. The information also serves as base-line data for other researchers working on peppers. In the case of tropical pumpkin, the local cultivars Soler and Taina Dorada had previously been characterized for dry matter, Brix and color, but we have now also characterized these varieties for pH, percentage acidity, firmness, protein, fat, carbohydrates, ash, and fiber. 4. Develop and test a dried sweet chili pepper value-added product. There have been no accomplishments to date for this goal. 5. Carry out user surveys on purchasing, use and consumption of vegetables, and surveys on acceptance of new sweet chili pepper and pumpkin varieties and products. A survey instrument for sweet chili pepper has been prepared and is being tested and validated. Extension Home Economists in various Puerto Rico municipalities have been contacted and have agreed to make arrangements to recruit participants (primarily housewives) for focal groups. The Puerto Rico Chefs Association has been contacted and we are initiating planning for a "Chefs Field Day" for about 35 chefs from around the island.

Publications

  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: Andon-Sanchez, Natasha. 2014. Determinacion de calidad y cambios microbiologicos en calabaza minimalmente procesada y empacada en polietileno de baja densidad ("Determination of quality and microbiological changes in minimally processed pumpkin packed in low density polyethylene bags"). M.S. Thesis. University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: Linares-Ram�rez, A.M. and L. Wessel-Beaver. 2014. Recurrent selection for melonworm resistance in tropical pumpkin. In: (M. Havey, Y. Weng, B. Day, R. Grumet, Editors) Cucurbitaceae 2014 Proceedings, American Society for Horticultural Science, Alexandria, Virginia. Pp. 69-72.