Molecular mapping of the C locus for presence of pungency in Capsicum

Genome. 2002 Aug;45(4):702-5. doi: 10.1139/g02-031.


Pungency owing to the presence of capsaicinoids is a unique character of pepper (Capsicum spp.). Capsaicinoids are produced in the placenta and it has long been known that a single dominant gene, C, is required for pungent genotypes to produce capsaicinoids. We mapped C to pepper chromosome 2 in a cross between a pungent Capsicum frutescens wild accession and a non-pungent Capsicum annuum bell pepper. This position confirmed results from earlier studies. The RFLP marker TG 205 cosegregated with C and two additional RFLP markers were also located within 1 cM. The recessive allele at the C locus is used in breeding programs around the world focused on very diverse germplasm, hence any of these tightly linked markers may be of value as potential sources of useful markers for marker-assisted selection. To demonstrate this point, we developed a PCR-based CAPS (cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence) marker linked to C using the sequence of the Capsicum fibrillin gene located 0.4 cM from C. The use of molecular markers for high-throughput screening for the c allele in pepper breeding programs is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Capsaicin / metabolism
  • Capsicum / genetics*
  • Capsicum / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Genetic Markers
  • Capsaicin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X71952
  • GENBANK/X77290
  • GENBANK/X97118
  • GENBANK/X97559