Effect of pruning on yield and quality of selected indeterminate tomato (solanum lycopersicon L.) Lnes

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Sokoine University of Agriculture.


Preliminary evaluations at Sokoine University of Agriculture have shown that indeterminate tomato breeding lines are tolerant to late blight and produce high yield of large fruits. These large fruits are least accepted by the local consumers in Tanzania. Pruning system has been reported to regulate tomato fruit size, overall yield performance and foliar disease incidence. A study to evaluate the effect of pruning levels (non pruning, single stem, two stems and three stems) on yield, quality and late blight disease incidence of five breeding lines of indeterminate tomato and one commercial variety was conducted from November 2009 to March 2010 at the Horticulture Unit of Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania. The experiment was laid in a split-plot in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The collected data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA), mean separation was done based on Student-Newman- Keuls using statistical software COSTAT6.4 (P<5%). Results showed that two stem pruned plants gave the highest number of marketable fruits per plant. The highest number of non marketable tomato fruits (damaged by pests, cracked or rotten) per hectare were observed in unpruned plants. Tomato lines differed in their performance, with the longest period of harvest, many flowers, higher percentage of fruit-set, the highest yield, high number of marketable fruits observed in lines P20-03 and SI 86-2(07) probably as a result of their genetic characteristic. Non pruned plants were more attacked by late blight disease whereas single and two stem plants were least affected by late blight. It is concluded that, the large fruit size of the new tomato breeding lines can be reduced to meet consumer’s needs without reducing yield by two and three stem pruning in lines P20-03 and SI 86- 2(07). It is therefore recommended that creation of awareness through demonstration trials is needed for further promotion of these new lines combined with two and three stem pruning in order to improve tomato production in terms of quantity and quality.




Indeterminate Tomato, Yield, Pruning