Photo: Fungus Puts the Heat in Chili Peppers, Study Says



Insects—such as the seed bug seen above—puncture chili peppers in southeastern Bolivia, creating entrance points for a harmful fungus, according to an August 2008 study.

The chili pepper seen above is scarred from previous insect foraging.

Scientists found the chili peppers most at risk of the fungus created more of the chemical that makes peppers hot—essentially becoming spicier to stave off the microbes.

Photograph by Tomas Carlo


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