The genus Capsicum comprises a varied group of hot and sweet peppers with a large number of species. The characterization of materials for genetic divergence becomes of paramount importance for breeding programs. Multivariate techniques were used to evaluated the genetic divergence among 34 sub-samples of Capsicum baccatum peppers from the Horticultural Germplasm Bank from the Federal University of Viçosa. Five quantitative descriptors proposed by International Plant Genetic Resources Institute were utilized in a field experiment carried out in Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, in a randomized block design. The genetic divergence among the sub-samples was determined by cluster analysis and canonical variables. The variables fruit average weight, fruit length, fruit diameter, number of seeds per fruit and content of soluble solids were evaluated. There was significant difference among sub-samples for all descriptors evaluated. General agreement among all multivariate techniques used in the work was observed and it was possible to separate the sub-samples in five distinct groups. The sub-samples BGH 1739 and BGH 1646 stood out showing good potential for use in breeding programs aiming to produce good materials for fresh consumption or processing purposes.
Capsicum baccatum; germplasm; multivariate techniques; breeding