Effect of electrical conductivity, fruit pruning, and truss position on quality in greenhouse tomato fruit

S. Fanasca, A. Martino, E. Heuvelink, C. Stanghellini

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The combined effects of electrical conductivity (an EC of 2.5 dS m-1 or 8 dS m-1 in the root zone) and fruit pruning (three or six fruit per truss) on tomato fruit quality were studied in a greenhouse experiment, planted in January 2005. Taste-related attributes [dry matter content (DM), total soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), glucose, fructose and citric acid content] and health-promoting attributes (lycopene, ß-carotene, vitamin C, and total antioxidant activity) of tomato fruits harvested on the vine from the fifth or tenth truss positions were determined. The quality of tomato fruits was improved by high EC. A high EC in the root zone increased the DM content, total SSC, TA, as well as glucose, fructose and citric acid contents. A significantly higher lycopene and ß-carotene content was also observed [on a fresh weight (FW) and dry weight (DW) basis] with a high EC in the root zone. The accumulation of different compounds that determine tomato fruit quality differed between the fifth and tenth truss. In particular, the lycopene content was reduced, whereas the ß-carotene content was increased in the tenth truss with respect to the fifth truss, most likely because of higher temperatures during ripening of the tenth truss. Fruit pruning increased fruit FW by 42% and positively influenced the DM content and total anti-oxidant activity, while a negative effect was observed on lycopene and citric acid contents (on a FW and DW basis). EC and fruit pruning both had a strong effect on fruit size; however, EC had a much stronger impact on taste and health-related fruit quality attributes. A small interaction between EC and fruit pruning was found for marketable yield, fructose and glucose content, fruit firmness, and P and Ca concentrations in fruits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-494
JournalJournal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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