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Priscila Alves Barroso, Mailson Monteiro do Rêgo, Joelson Germano Crispim, Maria do Perpétuo Socorro Damasceno Costa and Elizanilda Ramalho do Rêgo

Abstract: Plant breeding of ornamental peppers (Capsicum spp.) can be supported
by biotechnological tools. The objective of this study was to evaluate
the efficiency of an in vitro culture of immature zygotic embryos (IZE) to reduce
the breeding cycle of ornamental pepper (C. annuum) in comparison to the conventional
system. Three ornamental pepper genotypes were used: UFPB 001,
UFPB 004, and UFPB 099. Embryos at 30 days after selfing were inoculated in
MS ½-strength culture medium, and at the same time, seeds were placed to
germinate in a commercial substrate. Approximately 215 days are required from
selfing until fruit ripening in the conventional system, whereas the IZE system
requires an average of 153 days, a decrease of approximately 30% per selection
cycle, corresponding to 496 days considering 8 selfing cycles. A decrease
in time, labor, and inputs makes the IZE system a suitable tool for shortening
the breeding program of ornamentals peppers.

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