LAS CRUCES, N.M.— A graduate student researcher at New Mexico State University has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to help unravel the genetic mysteries of chile.
Hot peppers are one of New Mexico's signature crops.
Greg Reeves is studying horticulture. He's preparing to head across the Pacific Ocean to work with other researchers in hopes of finding out the secret to disease resistant chile. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Reeves will be participating in the foundation's East Asia Pacific Summer Institute. Reeves says the goal is to build research partnerships with Asian countries, where chile is also a huge crop.
While looking at genetic structure, Reeves will be searching for the specific markers in chile that identify phytophthora resistance. The disease is caused by a fungus and leads to what farmers call "chile wilt."