Pepper species exhibit broad genetic diversity, which enables their use in breeding programs. The objective of this study was to characterize the diversity between the parents of different species and their interspecific hybrids using morphological and molecular markers. The parents of Capsicum annuum (UFPB-01 and -137), C. baccatum (UFPB-72), and C. chinense (UFPB-128) and their interspecific hybrids (01x128, 72x128, and 137x128) were used for morphological and molecular characterization.
Genetic diversity and structure were analyzed in 10 accessions belonging to Banco Ativo de Germoplasma de Capsicum located at Federal University of Piauí in northwestern Brazil that receives pepper samples grown in community gardens in various regions and Brazilian states. Selections were made from seeds of C. chinense (4 accessions), C. annuum (5 accessions), and C. baccatum (1 accession). Samples consisting of leaves were collected from 4-10 plants of each accession (a total of 85 plants).