Varietal and Hybrid Seed Production

Introduction Steps in hybridization Farmer level seed Production


  • Chilli is a self-pollinated crop but cross-pollination also takes place to some extent. It is suggested that to obtain pure seeds, the two cultivars may be kept 250-400 m apart to avoid any cross-pollination. Good, healthy and well-developed fruits should be selected for producing seeds
  • Seeds can be extracted from healthy and well-developed fruits.
  • Curry powder grinder after suitably adjusting the grinding plate can be advantageously used to break the pods into pieces while seeds are completely shed.
  • A winnower or sieve shaker is used for separation of seeds fitted with B SS6 wire mesh.
  • This procedure brings down the extortion cost by 50 % and enhances germination percentage to 90.
  • The seeds are treated with Captan or Cerasan at the rate of 2 g/kg of seeds and packed.
  • The average seed yield per hectare varies from 50 to 80 kg.

Seed Production

  • The breeding methods hitherto adopted in chilli varied from Introduction, Mass selection, Reciprocal recurrent selection, etc., Back crossing and Mass-pedigree method of selection might prone useful in chilli.
  • Inter and Intra crossing among groups of chili cultivars might enable the breeders to get a large no. of recombinants for simultaneous improvement.
  • Evolution of cultivars to suit both internal and export markets, wider adaptability and quality viz., better pod colour and shape, high Capsaicin, carotene and ascorbic acid content.
  • Cultivars which are early determinate and compact with shorter flowering phase have to be developed
  • Resistance breeding needs emphasis for breeding lines resistant to viruses (TMV, leaf curl, potato mosaic etc.,), Thrips, Fruit rot and nematodes.
  • Exploitation of hybrid vigour.
  • The cultivars developed in India through Introduction, Selection, Hybridization and possibility of exploiting hybrid vigour is discussed below.

Introduction And Selection

  • In India introduction and selection as methods of crop improvement has led to the release of many strains for direct cultivation.
  • The G series of Lam Research Station (A.P), L series of pantnagar (U.P), Co series of Coimbatore (T.N) and K lines of Kovilpatti (T.N) are note worthy.
  • In this types CA 1068, Oosimilagai, Lalrang Mirche and Golconda Mirche (LAM Research Station), the heavy yielding and high capsaicin characters have been combined. Kalianpur Red, Kalianpur yellow, Kalianpur selection-1 and Kalianpur chaman are valued both for condiment and pickle.
  • Sabour Angra, Sabour Arnal, Sabour Arun and selections made at Rajendra Agricultural University, Bihar. There fruits are long, shiny red and with high seed content (55-58%) besides they are claimed to be partially resistant to dieback and virus.
  • The cultivar JCA 154 is a pickling type developed from J.N. Krishi Viswavidyalay, Jabalpur, M.P.   Rajpura long Red and long Red are selections best suited for Punjab conditions.
  • Sindhur is a dual purpose chilli selected in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Yellow anther in chilli is a rare character and this was transferred to G4 as a marker gene by crossing with yellow anther mutant and selecting G4 like plants with yellow anthers in F2 and in Subsequent generations.
  • X 200, a hybrid involving this line with lavang mirche and G2 and X 197 involving G3 and Assam chillies are superior to G3 in yield, Pungency and are also resistant to thrips which can replace G3.
  • G5 is a thrip resistant hybrid involving G2 and B 31 the hybrid Pusa-jwala, product of NP 46 A and Puri Red is claimed to be mosaic virus resistant.

Hybrid Vigour

  • The experience on the possibility of exploiting the hybrid vigour and heterosis in chilli has shown considerable promise and work in this respect involving intervarietal crosses needs to be emphasised.
  • The identification of male-sterile lines like G2 indicated the feasibility of hybrid seed production.
  • The present interest on exploitation of heterosis is an encouraging trend in chilli improvement even though hybrid sweet peppers have been common with growers.
  • The genetic base of chilli is large and large no. of unexploited cultivars still exists.
  • The yield components are generally involved in increasing the yield of chilli hybrids but the no. of fruits per plant tended to be the most important contributory character towards higher yield.


Steps Involved in Hybrid Seed Production

  • Raising of hybrid seed is not very difficult.
  • The technique for doing emasculation and hybridization are very simple and they are as follows:

1. Emasculation

  • Emasculation may be done either early in the morning or in the previous evening before the flowers open and calyx are still covering the anthers and stigma.
  • With the help of a pair of forceps, the petals are easily peeled and anthers are removed and bagged.
  • If there is no intention of doing any emasculation on the following 1 or 2 days, all un opened buds, which are likely, to open on these days must be removed and the whole plant covered with a muslin cloth bag

2. Hybridization Technique

  • Late in the morning or early in the afternoon of the flowering day, fresh flowers should be plucked from intended male parent which have been previously bagged and pollen dusted on the stigmas of emasculated flowers.
  • The pollen is dry and powdery and easily dislodged from the anthers with a gentle shake.
  • To facilitate pollination, the petals of the pollen flowers may be cut off.
  • After pollination, the bags should be replaced and labels denoting details of parents and date of pollination should be tied outside the bag.
  • Crossing is generally found to be successful when the plant is in full bloom and natural setting is high crossing should be avoided as far as possible during cloudy weather as setting is very low in such conditions.


Farmer level seed Production

  • To develop a straight variety or true to type variety in crop plants, pure line selection method is adopted.
  • In this method the seeds of pure lines are selected from homogeneous population and multiplied in the next season.
  • This multiplication process is conducted in different co-ordinated centres and performance of the pure lines is tested.
  • If the performance is good then the state varietal release committee or central varietal release committee releases the variety of that particular crop.
  • The seed supplied from Agricultural Research stations, Department of agriculture, or A.P. state seed corporation is not adequate to meet the requirements of the farmers.
  • So the private seed producers are actively engaged in multiplication and supply of seed to the farmers.
  • But the cost of seed is some times high and the quality also is not maintained. Hence, the farmers are motivated to develop their own seed in respect to varieties.
  • A seed village concept was introduced and the farmers were encouraged to develop their own seed.
  • In this process the farmer is supplied with limited quantity of foundation seed or certified seed by research stations or A.P state seed corporation.
  • The farmer will grow variety with the seed supplied in a limited area with good management practices of both plant husbandry and plant protection.
  • He is also provided with information of the characters of the variety like duration, fruit type, time of flowering etc. He observes the crop from time to time, and the off types will be removed as and when noticed.
  • He maintained a homogenous type of plants having the varietal characters.
  • While harvesting he eliminates 1 meter crop from all sides of the field
  • To avoid contamination from other varieties grown in neighbour hood and threshed, separately with all the care to prevent admixture of other varieties in threshing floor. Like wise care will be taken during storage to maintain purity.
  • Such seed will be used continuously year after year for the period of 3 to 4 years.
  • Such seed can also be spread to the co-farmers interested in that specific variety.
  • After 4 years the farmer can again secure foundation seed or certified seed from research station.
  • If it is practiced by at least 25% of the farmers there will not be any scarcity for pure good seed

Breeding behaviour and Genetics

  • The breeding behaviour of cultivated pepper was well understood besides recognition of 5 species of Capsicum viz., C. annum, C. fruitescens, C. pubescens, C.Pendulum and C. chinese.

Crossing Behaviour

C. annum x C. fruitescens

  • In general, about 2 % of the seeds were viable when fruitescens was used as female parent. The F1 plants ranging from completely pollen sterile to partially fertile were obtained.
  • Backcross to both parents had been obtained between both F2 and back cross plants showed much pollen sterility.
  • The L gene for tobacco mosaic resistance was successfully transferred from frutescens to annum.
  • The transfer of resistance to the tobacco etch virus from fruitescens has also been reported.

C. annum x C. chinese

  • Crosses can be made in either direction but are much easier when C. annum is used as the female parent. Only an occasional successful cross was obtained in the other direction.
  • The F1 plants ranged from completely pollen sterile to moderately fertile and backcross to both the parents were obtained. Considerable sterility occurred in F2 and back cross plants but gene interchange would be made with ease.

C. annum x C. pendulum

  • No viable F1 seeds had ever been obtained using C. pendulum as female parent but F1 plants could be obtained by culture of partially developed embryos.
  • The F1 plants were highly self-sterile but an occasional F2 plant had been obtained. It appears probable that genes can be transferred from one species to the other but with difficulty.

C. annum x C. pubescens

These species are completely cross sterile. Crosses are rarely resulted in fruits and those obtained were without seed.

C. fruitescens x C. Chinese

Crosses would be obtained in either direction although with considerable difficulty when C. Chinese was used as the female parent. The F1 plants were completely to moderately self-sterile. Backcrosses to both the parents were obtained.

C. fruitescens x C. pendulum

Crosses were made in either direction, but more readily when pendulum was used as the Female parent. The F1 plants were highly sterile and viable F2 seeds were very rarely formed. Backcrosses to each parent resulted in only an occasional viable seed.

C. fruitescens x C. pubescens

No fruit had ever been obtained from repeated pollination in both directions.

C. Chinese x C. pendulum

Crosses were made with some difficulty with C. pendulum as the female parent. A few F2 seeds were obtained but none were viable. A limited no. of back crosses were successful.

C. Chinese x C. pubescens

Fruits were formed when C. Chinese was used as the seed parent. The fruit at maturity contained many seeds with fully developed embryos but without endosperm. Such embryos could be grown only on artificial media. The F1 plants were completely sterile and could not be backcrossed to either parent.

C. pendulum x C. pubescens

No successful crosses could be obtained.


Andhra Pradesh