in HortScience

Eggplants (Solanum melongena L.) were grown from transplants in a field study at Bixby, Okla., in 2005. Plants were harvested twice a week for 7 weeks. Data were taken from 3 individual plants per plot × 11 cultivars × 3 replications. The open-pollinated `Black Beauty' was inferior to the hybrids for yield and fruit quality. Patterns of cumulative percent marketable fruit number did not differ for 3 of the 4 cultivars producing the numerically highest (not always statistically highest) marketable fruit weights per plant (`Classic', `Nadia', and `Santana'). `Dusky' was the exception; fruit number peaked relatively early, but it still totaled among the highest for marketable fruit weight per plant. This might be considered an efficient fruiting pattern. Apart from `Dusky', a relatively high cumulative percent marketable fruit number throughout the season tended to be associated with an intermediate to low marketable fruit weight per plant. Two factors usually were responsible for this pattern: relatively low average marketable fruit weight, or high cull production. Despite significant differences in individual marketable fruiting patterns and average fruit weights, one relatively simple curvilinear model gave an excellent estimation of total and marketable eggplant fruit production (respectively) over time. The model was pct = 1/(1+exp(-(a+b*day))), where pct = estimated cumulative percent based on number of fruit, a = intercept, and b = slope.

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