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Juan José Ruiz and Fernando Nuez

Three clonal hybrids of pepino and their six parental clones were grown in a greenhouse at two salinity levels, 3 and 8 dS·m-1, and two K levels, 246 and 492 mg·L-1. Nearly all the clones maintained high yields even at 8 dS·m-1. Hybrids were highly productive and were more salt-tolerant than their parental clones. In the majority of clones, salinity shortened mean time to harvest by more than 10 days. Salinity also increased organoleptic quality of pepino fruit, mainly due to the increase in soluble solids concentration (SSC). Potassium had little effect on yield and on organoleptic characteristics, although the yield of the less-productive clones appears to be affected by the high level of K (492 mg·L-1). Our results suggest that the pepino could be an alternative crop in areas where only moderately saline water is available, since it is possible to maintain crop productivity while improving its organoleptic quality—the latter being a key issue for its acceptability in European and U.S. markets.

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Oussama H. Mounzer, Wenceslao Conejero, Emilio Nicolás, Isabel Abrisqueta, Yelitza V. García-Orellana, Luis M. Tapia, Juan Vera, Jose M. Abrisqueta and Maria del Carmen Ruiz-Sánchez

The phenological stages of early-maturing peach trees were described using the traditional nomenclature of Baggiolini and according to the BBCH General Scale. The heat requirement of each stage was calculated as growing degree hours (GDH) and growing degree days (GDD). The annual growth pattern of trunk, shoot, and fruit was also studied. After dormancy breaking involving 225 chilling units, this early peach cultivar required ≈6244 GDH to reach full bloom and 27106 GDH before the fruit could be harvested. In the case of GDD, the heat requirements were 329 and 1246 for full bloom and fruit harvest, respectively. According to plant growth measurements, shoot growth lasted ≈7 months with a significant increase in the growth rate after fruit harvest reaching a maximum value in July. Trunk growth followed a similar annual pattern as that of the shoots but with its maximum rate occurring ≈30 days latter. Fruit growth, which lasted an average of 89 days from full bloom to harvesting, took place under mild climatic conditions (10 Feb. to 10 May) coinciding with only 30% of the total annual shoot length. This pattern of reproductive and vegetative growth pointed to the interest of redirecting regulated deficit irrigation practices in early-maturing cultivars toward postharvest water-saving strategies, but only to the extent that any limitation of shoot and trunk growth does not adversely affect the productivity of the following year.