A word familiar to all fans of science fiction, mutation refers to any sudden change in DNA–deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic blueprint for an organism–that creates a change in an organism’s appearance, behavior, or health. Symptoms include leaf distortion, variegation in leaves, fruit deformity, etc. They can be mistaken for herbicide or virus infection. At left is a bizarre mutant pod from Jukka in Finland.
This mutant image was sent to me by Mr. Prall.
The Jolokias are particularly prone to mutation. This image was sent by Mr. Reynolds. (I lost the first names in an email file blow-up.)
And finally, here’s a mutant baccatum from Jukka’s garden in 2008.
Interesting mutants should be sent to the Chile Pepper Institute, P.O. Box 30003, Dept. 3Q, NMSU, Las Cruces, NM 88003.