Transcriptome analyses throughout chili pepper fruit development reveal novel insights into the domestication process

Octavio Martínez*, Magda L. Arce-Rodríguez, Fernando Hernández-Godínez, Christian Escoto-Sandoval, Felipe Cervantes-Hernández, Corina Hayano-Kanashiro, José J. Ordaz-Ortiz, M. Humberto Reyes-Valdés, Fernando G. Razo-Mendivil, Ana Garcés-Claver, Neftalí Ochoa-Alejo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Chili pepper (Capsicum spp.) is an important crop, as well as a model for fruit development studies and domestication. Here, we performed a time-course experiment to estimate standardized gene expression profiles with respect to fruit development for six domesticated and four wild chili pepper ancestors. We sampled the transcriptomes every 10 days from flowering to fruit maturity, and found that the mean standardized expression profiles for domesticated and wild accessions significantly differed. The mean standardized expression was higher and peaked earlier for domesticated vs. wild genotypes, particularly for genes involved in the cell cycle that ultimately control fruit size. We postulate that these gene expression changes are driven by selection pressures during domestication and show a robust network of cell cycle genes with a time shift in expression, which explains some of the differences between domesticated and wild phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number585
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, México (Conacyt project 1570).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Capsicum
  • Domestication
  • Fruit
  • Gene expression
  • RNA-Seq
  • Transcriptome


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