Breeding from the wild. How?

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by Pierskiopsis, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Pierskiopsis

    Pierskiopsis Member

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    PNW, Canada
    Greetings all.

    I have a question regarding breeding from wild stock.

    This past summer I travelled to Ghana, West Africa. I took a day trip up to the Volta Region to peek about, and stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant. I ordered groundnut soup with goat and fufu. Garnishing the soup was a fresh little yellow pepper. This little pepper looked like a Habenero chili (same shape) but was yellow, and being cautious I took a little nibble. The flavour was unlike anything I had tasted. Medium hot (thai chili) but with an amazing floral taste. Indescribably delicious. Very, very fresh solanaceous taste, almost tobacco flower/leaf/jasmine/citrus/cilantro with a good kick of heat.

    This got me thinking about the source of this plant. I have tasted many peppers, and none had anything close to this taste. Capsicum are perennial in warm places, and there are many wild varieties that exist.

    So, question; How would I stabilize such a plant? Would it be possible to do this from one plant? As in grow out the progeny, select, and backcross with the original? Or would I need to "create" it from other plants in the vicinity?

    If anyone could explain this, I think it would be a great lesson on how breeding works, not just for me.

  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Burnaby, Canada
    Since many plants in third world countries are propagated by seed, there is a good chance that the pepper you tasted was grown from seed and would come true if you planted the seed. If you can get a sample of the plant, peppers are also easy to clone vegetatively. Mound layering and tip layering commonly occur naturally in the garden, and I suspect that cuttings would work as well.
  3. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member 10 Years

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    Rural Edmonton Alberta area, Canada
    Another possibility is to propagate from cuttings.

    Note: Getting live plants back into this country may be difficult. Even getting seed from the U.S. requires a phytosanitary certificate. I would suggest mailing seeds back to yourself, using multiple shipments; hiding it in the packing of gifts to yourself, stuffed into the binding of books, etc.

    The other thing: You are going to be about a zillion zones warmer there than here. If it grows in a climate that never freezes, it will be a greenhouse crop here, with all the problems that can have. And if it's co-dependent on some fungus, you may indeed have an interesting time.

    Good luck.
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Obligatory post to suggest that the best course of action is to follow the rules and regulations for import of plant material for whatever country you inhabit. The rules are there for a reason.

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