The Life Cycle of a Ghost Chili

The Bhut jolokia is a fruit bearing angiosperm, which means that it undergoes an alternation of generations life cycle (just like the pomegranate and the apple guava) . Below is a diagram of the alternation of generations life cycle that all plants utilize.


      A seed will begin to germinate under the right conditions. The Bhut jolokia prefers rich nutrient soil, a hot/humid climate, a medium amount of Water, and plenty of sunlight.  Once the chili begins to germinate, its cells go through mitosis and cause the plant to grow in size, sprout through the soil, and eventually become a mature diploid sporophyte.

     As the chili sporophyte matures, it begins to develop flowers. The small flowers on a Bhut jolokia plant have five pedals shaped in a star pattern and are light yellow in color.

     In the flowers, the anther produces haploid microspores through meiosis that lead to the production of male gametophytes (pollen). While this occurs, the ovary produces megaspores that go through meiosis, which leads to female gametophytes (embryo sack).

     The male gametophytes are contained within a pollen grain.  These pollen grains are transported via wind, insects, humans, and many other factors into pollen tubes located at the top of the ovary.  During this stage, pollen grains travel down the pollen tube into the ovary.  

     The ovary consists of six ovule, which house female gametophytes.  The pollen is transported into the ovules where it fertilizes the egg. 

     After fertilization, the ovary wall thickens and forms                                                                       the fruit (the eatable chili).  The fruit’s purpose is to   protect dormant fertilized seeds from the environment (just like the ).  The seeds are transported through out the environment by other organisms that consume and/or cause the fruit to fall off the plant.

     In order for the seed to begin to germinate and be as healthy as possible, it needs the temperature to be around 85°F and the climate needs to be humid.  Nutrient rich soil is an absolute necessity. As the plant grows, the amount of sunlight that it is exposed to should be increased.  When these conditions are met, the seed will germinate and   begin the alternation of generations life cycle all over again.