When GA3 foliar sprays are applied to tomatoes at transplanting (7.5 ppm, twice, one week apart) the lowest main stem clusters bear fruits which have large blossom-end scars (catfacing). Later flowering clusters are less affected as long as the plants are being grown under normal temperature conditions. Preliminary trials (Wien and Zhang, Hort Sci. 26:583-585, 1991) indicated that cultivar differences in catfacing susceptibility were reflected in GA3-induced catfacing differences. In 1990 and 1991, field trials were conducted in Freeville, N.Y. to compare the catfacing susceptibility of 14 and 18 fresh tomato cultivars respectively, using GA3 treatment. Catfacing was measured by counting the percentage of fruit on the third main stem, primary branch and two basal clusters that had blossom scars longer than 1 cm. Of the 14 cultivars common to both seasons, Valerie, Sunrise and Basketvee were least affected by catfacing in both control and GA3-treated plots, and Starfire, New Yorker and Olympic were most catfaced. GA3 spray shows promise for selecting catfacing-susceptible tomato cultivars.
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