‘Ancho’ type chilis ( Capsicum annuum
L. var. annuum
are an important ingredient in the traditional cuisine of
Mexico and so are in high demand. It includes six native
sub-types with morphological and fruit color differences.
However, the genetic diversity of the set of these subtypes
has not been determined. The objective of this
study was to characterize the genetic diversity of native
Mexican ancho chili populations using microsatellites and
to determine the relationship among these populations.
Twenty-four microsatellite loci were used to analyze 38
native populations of ‘Ancho’ chilis collected in seven
states of Mexico; three populations different from the
ancho type (‘Piquin’, ‘Guajillo’, and ‘Chilaca’) and three
hybrids (Capulin, Abedul, and green pepper) were included
as controls. The number of alleles per locus, number and
percentage of polymorphic loci, polymorphic information
content (PIC), expected heterozygosity, and Wright F
statistics were obtained. Moreover, an analysis of principal
components and a cluster analysis were carried out. We
detected 220 alleles, with an average of 9.2 alleles per locus;
PIC varied between 0.07 and 1, and expected heterozygosity
was between 0.36 and 0.59. Also we identified 59 unique
alleles and eight alleles common to all of the populations.
The F statistics revealed broad genetic differentiation among
populations. Both the analysis of principal components and
the cluster analysis were able to separate the populations
by origin (southern, central, and northern Mexico). The
broad genetic diversity detected in the native ancho chili
populations of Mexico was found in greater proportion
within the populations than between populations.