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NM, Korean researchers map chile pepper genome

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Researchers in New Mexico and South Korea say they have mapped the chile pepper genome, a development that could speed efforts to breed new, improved peppers.

Researchers from New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute and Seoul National University announced Tuesday that they have completed a high-resolution draft of the chile genome.

The genome map signals where genes that underlie certain traits are located. Researchers say the data will provide the tools for how to breed desired traits into pepper plants.

The head of the Chile Pepper Institute, Paul Bosland, says possibilities include plants that would use less water, resist pests and diseases and adapt to climate change.

NMSU researchers plan to use the map to investigate disease resistance to chile wilt, one of the leading problems for growers in New Mexico and abroad.

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