Accumulation of the Components of Total Solids in Ripening Fruits of Tomato

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

To identify qualitative and quantitative chemical variation in tomato fruit dry matter, crosses were made between the high soluble solids concentration (SSC) line LA 1501 (6.3% SSC when red-ripe) and the nearly isogenic commercial tomato cultivar VF 145B-7879 with a lower SSC (4.4% when red-ripe). Fruit samples from the parents and the reciprocal F1 hybrids were collected at 3-day intervals, from 25 to 52 days after anthesis, to evaluate the accumulation of various quality components throughout the development of the fruit from immature-green to red-ripe stage. Fructose and glucose concentrations, titratable acidity, pH, and percent dry weight (pulp and serum) were determined for each sample on a fresh basis. Fruit maturity was evaluated by puree color using Hunter `a' colorimeter values. Changes in most of the chemical constituents of the fruit were found to regress linearly with changes in fruit color. Regression of puree color against fruit SSC, and fructose, glucose, and total sugar concentrations described more of the observed variability in these components than days after anthesis, indicating that Hunter `a' colorimetric values provide a more precise measurement of fruit physiological age. The variation between the parents in fruit dry matter was found to be primarily due to differences in SSC. The ratio of fruit soluble to total solids concentration increased 23.7% in LA 1501 (from 61.6% to 85.3%) throughout ripening compared to-an increase of only 8.9% (from 66.3% to 75.2%) in `VF 145B-7879'. At the red ripe stage, LA 1501 possessed a 44% higher SSC than `VF 145B-7879'. Differences in fructose and glucose accounted for 41% of the variation in SSC between the two lines. An unidentified component(s) was responsible for the residual variation. Application of the genetic and physiological information generated from this study can be used to isolate and select for genes controlling accumulation of tomato fruit dry matter.

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