The history of the pepper collection is analog to the CGN collections of tomato, eggplant, cucumber and melon and described in the general page of the fruit vegetables.
The CGN pepper collection consists of cultivated species, like Capsicum annuum, C. chinense, C. frutescens, C. baccatum and C. pubescens and a number of crop wild relatives. The collection with 1141 accessions, is the fourth largest of Europe. It comprises 519 cultivars, 308 landraces, 20 accessions of research material, 60 accessions of wild species and 234 accessions of unknown population type. C. annuum (N=898) forms the largest part of the collection followed by C. chinense (N=119) and C. frutescens (N=49). Most varieties originate from Europe and the USA. About half of the landraces originate from Spain and Brazil. In European genebanks not many accessions of wild species are present in ex situ genebanks, which is also the case for CGN. In most genebanks in South America a few accessions of wild species are present.
The genus Capsicum consists of 40 species. Capsicum species in the CGN collection are diploid and have 24 chromosomes (2n=2x=24). A few non-domesticated species with 2n=2x=32 are known. The part of the genus which is used for cultivation and breeding, can be divided in three complexes:
• annuum complex (C. annuum, C. chinense, C. frutescens, C. galapagoense)
• baccatum complex (C. baccatum, C. praetermissum, C.tovarii)
• pubescens complex (C. pubescens , C. cardenasii, C. eximium)