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Effect of moisture stress at different growth stages of tomato plant (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) on yield and quality of fruits

Authors:

R. Vijitha ,

Department of Agricultural Biology, Eastern University, LK
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S. Mahendran

Department of Agricultural Biology, Eastern University, LK
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Abstract

There is a need to utilize the water efficiently and effectively because water availability is scarce in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. An experiment was conducted to determine the changes in fruit quality of tomato cv. KC-1 with moisture stress viz., determine the vitamin C, total soluble solids (TSS) and acid contents of tomato fruits during fruit ripening stage. Also, investigated in the present study was to find out the most critical stage/s of the plant growth to moisture stress in order to sustain the yield by efficient water management. Experiment was conducted at the agronomy farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, Eastern University, Sri Lanka. The experimental design was randomized complete block design with five treatments and four replications. Moisture stress was imposed during vegetative, flowering, early fruiting and fruit ripening stages of tomato for a period of four days in each growth stages. The control plants were watered daily to the field capacity. The stress cycle was single in which water was withheld completely at once. The result showed that moisture stress at fruit ripening stage reduced the vitamin C contents of fruits. The TSS and acid contents of the fruits were slightly affected by moisture stress when the stress was imposed during the fruit ripening stage but they were not significant. Vitamin C, TSS and acid contents of fruits were unaffected by moisture stress given during vegetative, flowering and early fruiting stages. Moisture stress reduced the yield of tomato and the stress during the flowering stage showed the highest yield reduction compared to the other growth stages. Hence, the flowering stage is the most critical stage of growth of tomato to moisture stress for the fruit yield.

Keywords: Tomato, Growth stages, Moisture stress, Fruit quality, Yield.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/josuk.v5i0.4086

J Sci.Univ.Kelaniya 5 (2010): 1-11

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/josuk.v5i0.4086
How to Cite: Vijitha, R. & Mahendran, S., (2012). Effect of moisture stress at different growth stages of tomato plant (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) on yield and quality of fruits. Journal of Science of the University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka. 5, pp.1–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/josuk.v5i0.4086
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Published on 14 Feb 2012.
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