Life History/ Reproduction

Life History

Hot peppers have been a part of the human diet in America since at least 7500 BC. There is archaeological evidence in southwestern Ecuador that hot peppers were one of the first cultivated crops in America that is self-pollinating.Hot pepper plant in the process of forming the hot peppers

Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter hot peppers. When the peppers were first introduced into Europe, they were grown in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries. The monks experimented with the hot peppers and discovered that they could be used as a substitute for black peppercorns. At the time black peppercorn was extremely costly and used as legal currency in some countries. To learn more about the black pepper click here!

Hot peppers were used around the globe after Diego Alvarez Chanca, a doctor on Columbus's second ship to the West Indies in 1493, brought the first hot peppers to Spain.  Diego Alvarez Chanca first wrote about the hot peppers medicinal effects in 1494. To learn more about the medicinal effects of hot peppers today click here!

From Mexico, hot peppers spread rapidly into the Phillipines and then to India, China, Indonesia, Korea and Japan.



Like all plants, the hot pepper undergoes an alteration of generations.

An immobile egg released by the archegonia fuses with a mobile sperm released from an antheridium. This forms a zygote that is either male or female. First I will talk about the female zygote. (The cycle on the right side of the image below)

The female zygote develops through mitosis into a megasporophyte. At maturity this megasporophyte produces one or more megasporangia (carpels). This is where megaspores develop through meiosis. These megaspores germinate producing megagametophytes. At maturity one or more archegonia are produced in the megagametophyte. Eggs develop inside of the archegonia.

Now I will talk about what the male zygote goes through. (The cycle on the left side of the image above)

A male zygote develops through mitosis into a microsporophyte. At maturity this megasporophyte produces one or more microsporangia. This is where microspores develop through meiosis. These microspores germinate producing microgametophytes. At maturity one or more antheridia are produced in the microgametophytes. Sperm develop inside of the antheridia.

Now a sperm can get released from the antheridia and an egg can get released from the archegonium and the process can start all over again!


When you're ready you can keep going through to the types of Interactions that the hot pepper takes place in!