Friday, July 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Genome sequencing reveals what puts heat in hot peppers

By
From page A5 | January 19, 2014 |

The genome of the hot pepper, the world’s most widely grown spice crop, has been sequenced by a large international team of researchers, including UC Davis scientists.

The new reference genome sheds light on the biology of the pepper’s hallmark pungency, or spiciness, as well as its fruit-ripening and disease-resistance mechanisms.

It also reveals new information crucial for improving the horticultural, nutritional and medicinal qualities of these peppers, whose annual global production has grown more than 40-fold during the past two decades and now exceeds $14.4 billion.

Highlights from the sequencing effort will be reported Sunday as an Advance Online Publication of the journal Nature Genetics.

“The pepper genome is one of the largest genomes assembled to date,” said plant scientist Allen Van Deynze, director of research at UCD’s Seed Biotechnology Center and a co-author on the study.

“The quality of this genome assembly and linkage to the high-density genetic map for peppers makes the genes and genome immediately available to the genetics community,” he said.

Hot peppers, one of the oldest domesticated crops in the Western Hemisphere, are members of the Solanaceae plant family and thus cousins to an extensive group of plants including potato, tomato, eggplant, petunia and tobacco.

The hot-pepper plants are popular ornamentals and produce fruits that are major vegetables in most global cuisines, as well as rich sources of vitamins and nutrients, pharmaceuticals, natural coloring agents, cosmetics and defense repellants.

The researchers sequenced a hot pepper landrace, or domesticated variety, from the Mexican state of Morelos. The variety, known as Criolo de Morelos 334, has consistently exhibited high levels of disease resistance and has been extensively used in hot-pepper research and breeding.

The research team also provided sequencing data for the Perennial and Dempsey cultivated pepper varieties and for the related habanero pepper species (Capsicum chinense).

Not surprisingly, the new sequencing project revealed that blocks of genes appear in much the same chromosomal position in the hot pepper as in its closest relative, the tomato. The pepper genome, however, was found to be 3.5-fold larger than the tomato genome.

The sequencing also uncovered evidence suggesting that the pungency, or “heat,” of the hot pepper originated through the evolution of new genes by duplication of existing genes and changes in gene expression after the peppers evolved into species.

It was already known that pepper pungency was caused by the accumulation of naturally occurring chemicals called capsaicinoids, unique to the Capsicum genus.

More than 22 of these “heat”-producing compounds have been isolated from peppers, and many have been shown to have human health benefits, including inhibition of tumor growth for certain cancers, pain relief for arthritis, appetite suppression and weight-loss promotion.

Information mined by this sequencing project will help scientists better understand how these compounds are synthesized in the pepper plant. It also establishes the pepper as a valuable model for exploring, in general, the evolution of plants’ organic compounds — beyond those directly involved in growth, development and reproduction.

“The whole genome assembly of pepper and comparative genomics to the closely related tomato species, with its nearly four-fold smaller genome, provides new insights into evolutionary aspects of genome expansion in acquiring newly developed genetic function,” said co-author Ryan W. Kim of the UCD Genome Center.

“The fine genetic mapping of pepper promises cost-effective and early screening for valuable agricultural traits,” he said.

The pepper genome sequencing effort was led by UCD alumnus Doil Choi, a professor of plant science and director of the Plant Genomics and Breeding Institute at Seoul National University, Korea.

UCD members of the research team, in addition to Van Deynze and Kim, included Hamid Ashrafi and Theresa Hill, both of the Seed Biotechnology Center.

Funding for the study was provided by grants from the Korean government’s Rural Development Administration and National Research Foundation. The work also was financially supported by the following private companies: Hortigenetics, Monsanto, Riijk Zwaan, Syngenta, Semilla Fito, Sakata Seed, Enza Zaden, Nunhems and Takii.

“The collaborative funding for the project by leading international seed companies and institutions involved with breeding peppers ensures that the genome will be directly leveraged to make breeding strategies more efficient and to deliver improved products,” Van Deynze said.

— UC Davis News

Comments

comments

.

News

Tech Trekkers boldly go into STEM fields

By Amy Jiang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Decoding breast milk secrets reveals clues to lasting health

By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

California climate change policies to hit our pocketbooks

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

 
Davis braces for six days of scorching heat

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Appeals court upholds high-speed rail route

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

Carwash raises funds for funeral expenses

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Unitarians will host summer camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Artists, photographers invited to support Yolo Basin Foundation

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Sudwerk’s sales grow, floating on a sea of dry hop lager

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Wetlands visitors will see migrating shorebirds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

‘Bak2Sac’ free train ride program launched

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Explorit: Wonderful wetlands right at home

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Recycle old paint cans for free

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Where your gas money goes

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

STEAC needs donations of personal care items

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

 
.

Forum

Trio disagrees on best option

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Commenting system to change

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10, 32 Comments

 
Support these local restaurants

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Let’s get the bench repaired

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Predicting climate changes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Clinton’s book is worth a read

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 3 Comments

Thanks for emergency help

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
.

Sports

Hudson solid, Hamels better in Giants’ loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Petrovic, Putnam share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Moss powers A’s past Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Enriquez brilliant, but Post 77 season ends with Area 1 loss

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
The un-Armstrong? Tour ‘boss’ Nibali wins Stage 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

Clyde Elmore: Art in the Wild

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
‘A Most Wanted Man’: Superb espionage drama

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Musicians perform at Sunday service

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A17 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Accord’s latest model is most fuel efficient

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
 
.

Obituaries

Mary Lita Bowen

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
James Thomas Feather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Richard ‘Dick’ Robenalt

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, July 25, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A13

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Remax

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Sherman Home

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Vaughan Brookshaw

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Ciana Wallace

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Melrina A Maggiora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Jo Vallejo

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Carol Coder

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Diane Lardelli

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Jason Sull

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Julie Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Lisa Haass

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Leslie Blevins

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

David Campos

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Dana Hawkins & Caitlin McCalla

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Dana Hawkins & Caitlin McCalla

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Susan von Geldern

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

Open House Map

By jboydston | From Page: RER19

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Martha Bernauer

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Open House Map

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER23

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER24