Tomatoes

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Submitted By desmondtuutu
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E€ect of Temperature on the Growth and Development of Tomato Fruits
S. R. ADAMS*, K. E. COCKSHULL and C. R. J. CAVE
Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, Warwick CV35 9EF, UK
Received: 6 April 2001 Returned for revision: 1 June 2001 Accepted: 13 July 2001
Tomato fruits ripened 95, 65, 46 and 42 d after Øower opening when plants were grown under controlled environ- mental conditions at 14, 18, 22 and 26
8
C, respectively. A similar response to temperature was observed when the temperature of individual trusses was modiÆed while the plants were grown at 20
8
C. These data were used to develop a thermal time model for fruit maturation. However, when buds/fruits were heated at di€erent stages in their development, the thermal time model proved to be a poor predictor of the time of ripening. Fruits were more sensitive to elevated temperature in their later stages of maturation. Temperature also a€ected the rates of fruit growth in volume; these could be adequately described using a Gompertz function. Low temperatures reduced absolute volume growth rates and delayed the time at which the absolute growth rate became maximal. However, the response of fruit growth to temperature di€ered when only the temperature of the fruits was modiÆed. There was a tendency towards small parthenocarpic fruits at both high (26
8
C) and low (14
8
C) temperature regimes which, combined with low
Øower numbers and poor fruit set at 26
8
C, resulted in low fruit yields. Temperature also a€ected the shoot dry matter content and partitioning.
#
2001 Annals of Botany Company
Key words:
Tomato,
Lycopersicon esculentum
, fruit, growth, ripening, temperature, temperature stress, partheno- carpy. INTRODUCTION
There is interest among tomato growers in systems to predict yields, due to an increasing need to be able to schedule their crops with precision to…...

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