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Concept: Cayenne pepper


The evidence base for the health effects of spice consumption is insufficient, with only one large population-based study and no reports from Europe or North America. Our objective was to analyze the association between consumption of hot red chili peppers and mortality, using a population-based prospective cohort from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III, a representative sample of US noninstitutionalized adults, in which participants were surveyed from 1988 to 1994. The frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption was measured in 16,179 participants at least 18 years of age. Total and cause-specific mortality were the main outcome measures. During 273,877 person-years of follow-up (median 18.9 years), a total of 4,946 deaths were observed. Total mortality for participants who consumed hot red chili peppers was 21.6% compared to 33.6% for those who did not (absolute risk reduction of 12%; relative risk of 0.64). Adjusted for demographic, lifestyle, and clinical characteristics, the hazard ratio was 0.87 (P = 0.01; 95% Confidence Interval 0.77, 0.97). Consumption of hot red chili peppers was associated with a 13% reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death. Similar, but statistically nonsignificant trends were seen for deaths from vascular disease, but not from other causes. In this large population-based prospective study, the consumption of hot red chili pepper was associated with reduced mortality. Hot red chili peppers may be a beneficial component of the diet.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Relative risk, Chili pepper, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Red Hot Chili Peppers


The use of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in F1 hybrid seed production of chili pepper is increasingly popular. However, the molecular mechanisms of cytoplasmic male sterility and fertility restoration remain poorly understood due to limited transcriptomic and genomic data. Therefore, we analyzed the difference between a CMS line 121A and its near-isogenic restorer line 121C in transcriptome level using next generation sequencing technology (NGS), aiming to find out critical genes and pathways associated with the male sterility.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Cytoplasmic male sterility, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, Jalapeño


The ghost pepper, or “bhut jolokia,” is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. Ghost peppers have a measured “heat” of > 1,000,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), more than twice the strength of a habanero pepper. To our knowledge, no significant adverse effects of ghost pepper ingestion have been reported.

Concepts: Capsicum, Capsaicin, Chili pepper, Scoville scale, Cayenne pepper, Chili peppers, Bhut Jolokia pepper, Habanero chili


ABSTRACT A novel disease resistance inhibitor gene (inhibitor of P. capsici resistance [Ipcr]), found in the chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) variety ‘New Mexico Capsicum Accession 10399’ (NMCA10399), inhibits resistance to Phytophthora capsici but not to other species of Phytophthora. When a highly P. capsici-resistant variety was hybridized with NMCA10399, the resultant F1 populations, when screened, were completely susceptible to P. capsici for root rot and foliar blight disease syndromes, despite the dominance inheritance of P. capsici resistance in chile pepper. The F2 population displayed a 3:13 resistant-to-susceptible (R:S) ratio. The testcross population displayed a 1:1 R:S ratio, and a backcross population to NMCA10399 displayed complete susceptibility. These results demonstrate the presence of a single dominant inhibitor gene affecting P. capsici resistance in chile pepper. Moreover, when lines carrying the Ipcr gene were challenged against six Phytophthora spp., the nonhost resistance was not overcome. Therefore, the Ipcr gene is interfering with host-specific resistance but not the pathogen- or microbe-associated molecular pattern nonhost responses.

Concepts: Plant pathogens and diseases, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Phytophthora capsici, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, Jalapeño


The study of crop origins has traditionally involved identifying geographic areas of high morphological diversity, sampling populations of wild progenitor species, and the archaeological retrieval of macroremains. Recent investigations have added identification of plant microremains (phytoliths, pollen, and starch grains), biochemical and molecular genetic approaches, and dating through (14)C accelerator mass spectrometry. We investigate the origin of domesticated chili pepper, Capsicum annuum, by combining two approaches, species distribution modeling and paleobiolinguistics, with microsatellite genetic data and archaeobotanical data. The combination of these four lines of evidence yields consensus models indicating that domestication of C. annuum could have occurred in one or both of two areas of Mexico: northeastern Mexico and central-east Mexico. Genetic evidence shows more support for the more northern location, but jointly all four lines of evidence support central-east Mexico, where preceramic macroremains of chili pepper have been recovered in the Valley of Tehuacán. Located just to the east of this valley is the center of phylogenetic diversity of Proto-Otomanguean, a language spoken in mid-Holocene times and the oldest protolanguage for which a word for chili pepper reconstructs based on historical linguistics. For many crops, especially those that do not have a strong archaeobotanical record or phylogeographic pattern, it is difficult to precisely identify the time and place of their origin. Our results for chili pepper show that expressing all data in similar distance terms allows for combining contrasting lines of evidence and locating the region(s) where cultivation and domestication of a crop began.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Maize, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Wildness, Cayenne pepper, Jalapeño


Addition of capsaicin (CAPS) to the diet has been shown to increase satiety; therefore, CAPS is of interest for anti-obesity therapy. We investigated the effects of CAPS on appetite profile and ad libitum energy intake in relation to energy balance. Fifteen subjects (seven women and eight men, age: 29.7 ± 10.8yrs, BMI: 23.3 ± 2.9 kg/m(2)) underwent four conditions in a randomized crossover design in 36 hour sessions in a respiration chamber; they received 100% of their daily energy requirements in the conditions “100%Control” and “100%CAPS”, and 75% of their daily energy requirements in the conditions “75%Control” and “75%CAPS”, followed by an ad libitum dinner. In the 100%CAPS and 75%CAPS conditions, CAPS was given at a dose of 2.56 mg (1.03 g of red chili pepper, 39,050 Scoville heat units) with every meal. Satiety (P < 0.05) and fullness (P = 0.01) were measured every waking hour and before and after every meal using visual analogue scales, and were higher in the 100%CAPS versus 100%Control condition. After dinner desire to eat, satiety and fullness did not differ between 75%CAPS and 100%Control, while desire to eat was higher (P < 0.05) and satiety (P = 0.06) and fullness (P = 0.06) tended to be lower in the 75%Control versus100%Control condition. Furthermore, ad libitum intake (P = 0.07) and overconsumption (P = 0.06) tended to decrease in 100%CAPS versus 100%Control. In energy balance, addition of capsaicin to the diet increases satiety and fullness, and tends to prevent overeating when food intake is ad libitum. After dinner, capsaicin prevents the effects of the negative energy balance on desire to eat.

Concepts: Capsicum, Capsaicin, Chili pepper, Scoville scale, Pepper spray, Cayenne pepper, Scotch bonnet, Tabasco pepper


Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is an important horticultural crop in many regions of the world. The final shape and size of the fruit are known to be determined at a very early step of flower development. During flower development hormonal treatments using gibberellins seem to promote growth resulting in higher yield and fruit quality. However, the morphological changes that occur in the pepper flowers after these treatments are largely unknown. In the present study, we provide a description of floral development landmarks of jalapeño chili pepper (cultivar Huichol), divided in nine representative stages from its initiation until the opening of the bud. We established a correlation among external flower development and the time and pattern of reproductive organogenesis. Male and female gametogenesis progression was used to define specific landmarks during flower maturation. The pattern of expression of key genes involved in gibberellin metabolism and response was also evaluated in the nine flower stages. The proposed development framework was used to analyze the effect of gibberellin treatments in the development of the flower. We observed both an effect of the treatment in the histology of the ovary tissue and an increase in the level of expression of CaGA2ox1 and CaGID1b genes. The developmental stages we defined for this species are very useful to analyze the molecular and morphological changes after hormonal treatments.

Concepts: Developmental biology, Reproductive system, Fruit, Flower, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Cayenne pepper


In Brazil, cultivation of hybrid plants comprise near 40% of the area grown with vegetables. For Capsicum, hybrids of bell and chili peppers have already exceeded 50% and over 25% of all are commercialized seeds. This study aimed to evaluate new pepper hybrids in two environments, Cáceres, MT, and Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil. Nine experimental hybrids of C. baccatum var. pendulum were tested and trials were performed in a randomized block design, with three replications and eight plants per plot. In each environment, plants were assessed for canopy diameter, plant height, number of fruit per plant, mean fruit mass per plant, fruit length and diameter, pulp thickness, and content of soluble solids. Seven of the eight traits have differed significantly due to environment variation. Furthermore, genotype and environment interaction was highly significant for number of fruit per plant, mean fruit mass per plant, fruit length, and fruit diameter. Choosing a hybrid to be grown in one of the studied locations must be in accordance with the sought characteristics since there is a complex interaction for some studied traits.

Concepts: Fruit, Solanaceae, Seed, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Chili peppers


During the last few years, a growing number of antimicrobial peptides have been isolated from plants and particularly from seeds. Recent results from our laboratory have shown the purification of a new trypsin inhibitor, named CaTI, from chilli pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) seeds. This study aims to evaluate the antifungal activity and mechanism of action of CaTI on phytopathogenic fungi and detect the presence of protease inhibitors in other species of this genus.

Concepts: Enzyme, Plant, Fruit, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Cayenne pepper, Paprika, Jalapeño


Bank plant systems provide effective biological control for pests infesting commercially important crops. Aphids cause physical damage to crops by feeding on the leaves, as well as transmitting damaging viral diseases. To develop a bank plant system to control aphids that damage vegetable crops, we initially reared the parasitoid Aphelinus albipodus (Hayat and Fatima) on the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Matsumura) reared on the soybean plant, Glycine max (L.) that was elected as the alternate host. Parasitoid adults that emerged from A. glycines were allowed to parasitize second instar nymphs of the aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) which were reared on sweet pepper and chili pepper leaves. The results showed that A. albipodus females feeding and parasitizing M. persicae nymphs reared on sweet pepper lived for 18.9 days, with an average fecundity of 337.3 progenies/female, while females feeding and parasitizing on M. persicae nymphs reared on chili pepper lived for 18.8 days, with an average fecundity of 356.2 progenies/female. There were no significant difference in the development time and reproduction of A. albipodus individuals parasitizing M. persicae nymphs reared on sweet pepper and chili pepper plants. The intrinsic rate of increase ®, net reproductive rate (R 0), net aphid killing rate (Z 0), and finite aphid killing rate (θ) of A. albipodus parasitizing sweet pepper and chili pepper M. persicae was 0.2258 days(-1), 171.7 progeny adults, 222.6 aphids, and 0.4048 and 0.2295 days(-1), 191.8 progeny adults, 243.3 aphids, and 0.4021, respectively. Our results suggested that A. glycines could serve as an effective alternative host for supporting A. albipodus against M. persicae infesting sweet pepper and chili pepper.

Concepts: Soybean, Hemiptera, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Aphididae, Soybean aphid, Cayenne pepper