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A Biosystematic and Evolutionary Study of Capsicum baccatum (Solanaceae)

W. Hardy Eshbaugh
Brittonia
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1970), pp. 31-43
Published by: Springer on behalf of the New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2805720
Page Count: 13
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A Biosystematic and Evolutionary Study of Capsicum baccatum (Solanaceae)
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Abstract

Capsicum baccatum L. has frequently been treated as two distinct species, C. microcarpum Cav. and C. pendulum Willd. A biosystematic study reveals a quantitative and qualitative basis for morphological separation of C. baccatum into two taxa, while cytological and genetic data indicate their close similarity. A resolution of this apparent contradiction can be found in a "gigas" effect imparted to all the organ systems of cultivated C. baccatum while the fruit has been under intense subconscious and conscious artificial selective pressures for an increase in size. Few, if any, incipient genetic barriers have arisen to separate C. baccatum into distinct species. Cultivated C. baccatum has been isolated by man in a number of localities outside the range of wild C. baccatum. Where both cultivated and wild C. baccatum occur sympatrically, they are effectively isolated by an inbreeding mechanism and agricultural practices. On the basis of this investigation C. baccatum is treated as a wild variety, C. baccatum L. var. baccatum, and a cultivated variety, C. baccatum var. pendulum (Willd.) Eshbaugh.

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