Prostrate Growth Habit Enhances Fresh-market Tomato Fruit Yield and Quality

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, Box 7609, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695 7609

Two inbred lines of fresh-market tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), NC 20G-1 and NC 53G-1, both exhibiting prostrate growth habit (PGH), were crossed with the upright growth habit cultivar Piedmont and advanced to the F2 generation. Plants of each F2 population were grown without plant support on black plastic and subjectively rated in field plots for PGH. Extreme upright and prostrate plants were chosen from each F2 population for harvest. Mean comparisons between plants of extreme upright and prostrate habit showed increased total and marketable yields from plants with a prostrate habit. Decay and groundscarring of fruit were less in prostrate than in normally upright plants; the percentage of misshapen fruit was similar in both. The PGH character may be useful in increasing total and marketable yield of ground-culture tomatoes.

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