THE ORIGIN OF BELL PEPPERS
The large sweet bell
peppers we have now
look something like this:
Our bell peppers are bigger, differently shaped, and have thicker flesh than Columbus'
original peppers. How did this come about?
Columbus’ peppers were
genetically diverse. Some
were larger, some were
smaller. There was a
distribution of sizes--if you
weighed and counted 100 of
them, you’d see this:
many
few
size of pepper
From Columbus’ peppers, Europeans chose only the very largest peppers to supply the
seeds for the next season’s crop. This should eliminate the small peppers, and leave just
the largest ones. If you weighed and counted up 100 of the peppers you have after several
seasons, what would you find? Draw in the distribution you expect if you eliminate the
small peppers:
many
few
size of pepper
How do these peppers compare to the original ones that Columbus brought back?
BUT these peppers are merely a subset of Columbus’ peppers. They are as large as the
largest were originally—but it’s hard to see how they could they be bigger, if they simply
carry the genes of Columbus’ original peppers. SO...
 
HOW DO WE GET FROM HERE TO BELL PEPPERS?
Previous
Back to Scenarios
Next