275 Water Relations of Fruit Cracking in Single-truss Tomato Plants

in HortScience

This study was undertaken to investigate the water relations of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit cracking for single-truss tomato plants. The tomato plants were cultured on a closed hydroponic system in greenhouse. Water status of culture solution and plant tissues was measured with psychrometers. Water potential of the culture solution for the stressed plant was changed from -0.06 MPa (control plants) to -0.36 MPa at 24 days after anthesis. Hardness of the fruit skin was not different significantly between the stressed plants and the control plants. Fruit cracking occurred frequently in the control plants, but not in the stressed plants. Water potential gradient between the tissue of fruit flesh and water source for the control plants was bigger than that of the stressed plants. Turgors were increased at the tissues of fruit flesh and fruit skin at the control plants between predawn and morning but not at the stressed plants. These results indicated that the water potential gradient and the increased turgor in these tissues might be a trigger for the occurrence of fruit cracking on single-truss tomato plants.

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