Meeting Abstract

74.11  Sunday, Jan. 6  Evolutionary Ecology of Wild Chilies HAAK, DC*; TEWKSBURY, JJ; MACHNICKI, N; LEVEY, DJ; University of Washington; University of Washington; University of Washington; University of Florida haakd@u.washington.edu

Coevolutionary analyses of host-pathogen complexes among structured populations often suggest local adaptation of the pathogen without full analysis of the host population. Yet in some host populations stable polymorphisms of the trait under selection offer an elegant opportunity to investigate the potential for local adaptation among host populations. In Bolivia, a putative center of origin for the chili pepper, such a condition exists where there are completely pungent and mixed pungent/non-pungent populations of wild chili (Capsicum chacoense). Here we couple an analysis of population structure among seven distinct populations of C. chacoense which differ in the prevalence of pungent plants with an analysis of relative pathogen selection pressure on each population. We show that variation in the prevalence of Fusarium spp., a natural fruit pathogen, is sufficient to maintain the stable polymorphism observed in fruit pungency.