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Researchers: Map of chile pepper genome could help end ‘unnecessary’ cases of blindness

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | February 08, 2013

Researchers: Map of chile pepper genome could help end ‘unnecessary’ cases of blindness

Researchers hope to unlock genetic secrets of the chile pepper.

Researchers from New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute and South Korea have developed the first high-resolution draft of the chile pepper genome. New data from the genome map could eventually help end “unnecessary” cases of blindness by giving breeders the information they need to determine how to breed chile peppers with higher levels of vitamin A.

“This puts NMSU and the Chile Pepper Institute on the cutting edge with a new level of research,” said Paul Bosland, an NMSU Regents Professor and director of the university’s Chile Pepper Institute, in a statement. “This gives us a tool for mapping genes that we didn’t have before. Having a sequenced genome will unlock the genetic secrets of the chile pepper providing a powerful tool to examine previously unimagined questions and will accelerate efforts to breed improved cultivars.”

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