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Marcelino Bazán-Tene, Jaime Molina-Ochoa and Enrique Alejandro Bracamontes-Ursúa

Hot pepper (HP), Capsicum annuum (L.), is a solanum plant domesticated in Mesoamerica. It is currently widespread worldwide, and its uses are varied, such as an excellent flavoring, pigment base, and as a food resource with source of vitamins. The seven top world producers of HP are China, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, United States, Nigeria, and Indonesia. Mexico is producing about 623,238 t/year of fresh fruits in 136,398 ha; Colima produced 17,181 t in 676 ha, with a mean of 27 t·ha-1. The culture of HP in Colima is facing certain limitations in showing its productive potential, such as maintaining fertile and well-drained soils, and constant soil moisture; being weed-free during the first weeks after transplanting; and sustaining plant uniformity into transplantation. Transplantation is made in seed beds, but there is a lack of scientific evidence on shade requirements in the seed nursery to accelerate and improve plant quality for transplanting, and to impact on fruit yield. The aim was to evaluate the effect of levels of shading on the germination and vegetative development of `Serrano' HP under greenhouse conditions. Four levels of shading were evaluated using mesh fabrics to produce 90%, 75%, and 50% shade, and a control without shading on the seed beds. A completely randomized design with four treatments and four replications was used. The shading treatments reduced the germination period in about 1 day, increased the percentage of germination with a range between 1.75% and 3.25%; increased the plant height 0.83, 2.85, and 4.38 cm at 3, 6, and 10 days post-emergence; increased the root biomass about 0.01 g/plant, and 0.24 g of fresh foliage with the 90% shade compared with the control. Overall, a better agronomic performance of `Serrano' HP was obtained with 90% shading.

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Juan Manuel González-González*, Marcelino Bazán-Tene, Francisco Radillo-Juárez and Jaime Molina-Ochoa

Plants in the genus Ficus are one of the most used in the ornamentals. it is also used for plant handcrafting such as braid, cylinders, and wall rockets, using a single plant or braiding some plants. The ficus are commonly asexually propagated by slip or shoots. There is the possibility to graft and to obtain plants with two levels of foliage, combining the color and texture. The objective of this research was to evaluate the grafting compatibility of varieties of Ficus benjamina, such as: Vivian, Winter green, and Antillean (green color) grafted on the variety Profit (white color) used as rootstock. The study was carried out under environmental conditions of the Mexican Dry Tropic in Tecomán, Colima, Mexico. The grafting method was by whip or tongue approximation. Bud sticks of the four varieties ≈70-cm long were used as scions. They were previously rooted in polyethylene bags containing 1.5 kg of coconut fiber used as rooting substrate. The rootstocks were grown long in soil until 1.5 m and when they reach similar diameter to the scions. The grafting height and diameter was ≈50-60 cm, and 2-2.6 cm, respectively. Five grafted plants were used as experimental unit, and the treatments were distributed in a completely randomized design with four replications. The variables estimated were: number of leaves after 28 and 35 days post-grafting, and percentage of grafting at 28 and 35 days post-grafting. The tree varieties were compatible with the rootstock, and no differences were obtained between the treatments (Tukey test P< 0.05); both three varieties exhibited 75% of grafting success, and `Antillean' had higher number of leaves, but the three varieties were statistically similar.

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Francisco Radillo-Juárez*, Marcelino Bazán-Tene, Jaime Molina-Ochoa and Edgar Damián Rolón-Vejar

The production of `Jalapeño' hot pepper has been increased in the last 10 years in about 6.21% during the period between 1992-2003, with a growing rate of 72%. In Mexico, is an important produce, because it is considered part of the traditional Mexican diet as well as its high productive level. One of the most frequent problems in this crop is the low production of fresh fruits caused by an inadequate fertilization. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of four fertilization formulas on the yield of fresh fruit of hot pepper variety Jalapeño cultivar Grande under irrigation conditions The evaluated formulas were (N-P-K-S): 1) 58-51-35-12 (control); 2) 78-68-46-16; 3) 97-85-58-20; and 4) 117-102-69-24. Treatments were distributed under a completely randomized block design with four replications. The formula 117-102-69-24 showed the highest values in the plant height and number of fruits with 62.5 cm, and 48 fruits, respectively. This formula also showed the highest values on equatorial and longitudinal diameters, and fruit weight with 3.36 cm, 11.26 cm, and 33.66 g, respectively. The total yields per plant and per hectare was 1.54 kg; and 38.22 t was obtained with the formula 117-102-69-24. The formula with the higher units of each element showed the best performance and exhibited the highest yield of fresh hot pepper, it was more productive than the control treatment commonly used by the hot pepper growers in Colima.

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Francisco Radillo Juarez, Juan Manuel González Gonzalez, Marcelino Bazan Tene and J. Hyvan Castañeda Alvarez

Vegetables are important in Mexican agriculture because of the exportation opportunities made available by the opening of the Free Trade Agreement. Okra represents a potentially profitable crop, and it is important to understand its behavior in a predetermined environment, and determine its optimal sowing density. The present work was realized to evaluate three genotypes and three densities of okra plants in the production and quality of fresh fruit. The work was realized in the winter–spring cycle in the dry tropic region, using a randomized block design with a bifactorial of nine treatments. During the cultivation cycle, the vegetative and productive variables did not present changes in phenology, and only registered differences in plant height (58.4 and 57.6 cm., respectively) of PX 416543 and `Green Best', with a distance between plants of 18 cm. These results indicate that with increased densities of 41,600, 50,000, and 69,444 plants/ha, there were no differences in the number and weight of fresh fruit/plant. Nevertheless, with the production and support the quality of fresh fruit increased. We conclude that high densities of plants increase the total crop of fresh fruit per hectare without affecting quality. The variety PX 416543 presented the best vegetative and productive behavior.

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Marcelino Bazan Tene, Juan Manuel González Gonzalez, Francisco Radillo Juarez and Pablo Enrique Ramírez Castillo

The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), is native to South America. It occupies the second place in worldwide vegetable consumption. Because of this, the evaluation of tomato varieties for the fresh consumption is important. The Mexican production is 1,908,607 tons of fresh product (SAGARPA, 2004). In the state of Colima, production has a mean efficiency of 18.13 t·ha-1 (INEGI, 2000). The following genotypes were evaluated `Peralta', `Montijo', Pavia', `Grande River', and `Yaqui' (control). A randomized experimental block was used, with five treatments and four repetitions. The obtained results indicate that `Yaqui' (control) had the better yield of fresh fruit, with 37.5 t·ha-1, followed by `Peralta' (27.2t·ha-1), and `Montijo' (12.6 t·ha-1), respectively. The height of plant in `Yaqui' was 68.8 cm and 60.26 cm in `Pavia'. In the days to flowering, after showing a homogenous behavior, pronouncing itself up to 27 days after the transplant; whereas the variety `Grande River' was pronounced up to 40 days. With respect to the number of total fruits by plant, a highly significant difference was observed. `Yaqui' produced 91 fruits, with `Pavia' and `Peralta' producing 50 and 37 fruits per plant, respectively. In conclusion, `Yaqui' was the genotype with greater yield and vigor.

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Juan Manuel González Gonzalez, Francisco Radillo Juarez, Marcelino Bazan Tene and Juan Carlos González Ramos

Soursop (Annonamuricata L.) is reproduced by seeds from `Criollo' cultivars in Mexico. The replication of desirable agronomic traits is difficult when selected plants are from sexual reproduction. The heterogeneity of plants is observed as taller trees, irregular fresh fruit yield, variable fruit quality, different insect pests, disease susceptibilities, and lower number of plants per hectare. There is an extended time period for recovering investments and commericialization problems due to fruit quality and price. Vegetative propagation is an alternative for reducing the heterogeneity of soursop trees. Three grafting methods were evaluated for propagating soursop in the dry tropic region of Colima, Mexico: 1) splice side graft; 2) wedge graft; and 3) bud graft. The experiment was carried out on the Tecoman Campus of the Universidad de Colima. Rootstocks were from 8-month-old healthy plants, 1-m tall and 1-cm diameter, obtained from `Criollo' seedlings, and the scions were obtained from a healthy 10-year-old `Sin Fibra' donor tree. This donor tree was selected for its excellent agronomic traits and fruit yield. Vigorous and terminal scions were used, disinfected with fungicide, and used the same day of excision. The experiment was distributed under a completely randomized design. Splice side grafting had 67% success after 60 days, while wedge grafting and bud grafting had 0% success.

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Francisco Radillo Juarez, Juan Manuel González Gonzalez, Marcelino Bazan Tene and Luis Fernando Velasco Garcia

In world production of vegetables, the red tomato contributes 47% of the total production and occupies second place in world consumption. The objective of this research was to evaluate 13 genotypes of red tomato with high technology for horticultural production in the greenhouse. This study was realized in “Zamora” greenhouses in Quesería-Montitlán, Colima, Mexico. The evaluated materials were: `Sun', D-0289, D-2465, D-2467, D-2475, D-2503, D-2505, D-2512, D-2515, D-2534, D-2541, D-2552, D-7705, and, as control, the `Roman' variety. The tallest height was that of `Roman' plants, 2.46 m, vs. the height of the first cluster of fruits in D-2575 with 51 cm. With respect to largest number of fruits per cluster and total harvested, D-0289 stood out with four and 18 fruits per plant, respectively. In regard to fruit size, the genotypes D-0289 and D-2534 presented the largest equatorial and polar diameter, with 19.2 and 14.2 cm, respectively. For fruit weight, the genotypes `Sun' and D-0289 presented the largest weight with 160 and 151 g, respectively. We conclude that agronomic management influences production under technical systems. For vegetative and productive desirable characteristics, the genotypes `Roman', D-0289, and D-77055 were the more adaptable for production in the greenhouse.

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Alejandra Guadalupe Zamora-Solís, Marcelino Bazan-Tene, Javier Farias-Larios, Jose Gerardo López-Aguirre and Jaime Molina-Ochoa

Distribution of salinity and sodicity through the world is around 80 thousand million km2. To this quantity, we must add 10 million ha of irrigated lands that are abandoned each year due to such adverse effects on irrigation as salinity and/or alkalinity. Easily available substrates, such as glucose, increase the microbial activity to imprpove soils; for example, pH decreases because of a high production of some metabolites, such as carboxylic acids and hydro phenolics group. We carried out a study to evaluate the effect of glucose application on tomato plant (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) growth in saline soil. The experiment was done under greenhouse conditions. Soil samples were taken from 0–20-cm depth at the “El Chococo” ranch (lat. 18°47'N; long. 103°55'W). Treatments imposed were: 2% (T1), 4% (T2), and 6% (T3) glucose and a control without glucose (T0). Soil with treatments was incubated at ambient temperature for 40 days. Tomato seeds were germinated for 30 days and later transplanted to plastic bags that contained treatments. After transplant, tomato plants were grown for 40 days and then evaluated for plant height, dry and fresh weight, aerial and radicular biomass, and foliar area. Treatments were distributed under randomized design, and Tukey's (0.05) separation means were done. When the glucose percentage was increased, the soil pH decreased 8.50, 8.0, 7.70, and 7.60 in T0, T1, T2, and T3, respectively, but electrical conductivity increased. The highest values of parameters evaluated in plants were measured in treatment T3, and all the plants died in treatment (0).

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Orlando Javier Torres-Meza, Marcelino Bazan-Tene, Javier Farias-Larios, Jose Gerardo Lopez-Aguirre and Jaime Molina-Ochoa

Low organic matter in soil is a large problem in crop production around the world because it affects physical, chemical, microbiological, and morphological properties. On the other hand, regions with agro-industry generally generate waste that can cause some level of contamination. Therefore, it is necessary to find some use for this kind of waste. This study was done to evaluate the effect of lemon industrial waste on tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.), growth in a saline soil. The experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions. Soil samples were taken from 0- to 20-cm depths at the El Chococo ranch, located at 18°47'N and 103°55'W. Four treatments were imposed: 0 (0), 600 (1), 1200 (2), and 1800 (3) m3/ha. Soil in treatments was incubated at ambient temperature for 40 days. Tomato seeds were germinated for 30 days and later transplanted to plastic bags containing treatments. After transplant, tomato plants were grown during 40 days, after which was measured: high plant, dry and fresh weight, aerial, and radicular biomass and foliar area. Treatments were distributed under randomized design, and Tukey's (0.05) separation means was performed. Organic matter, pH, and CE in soil before treatment application was 1.01%, 8.5, and 7.6 dS/m respectively (in 1:5 soil: water ratio). After application, OM increased until 3.7% in treatment 3. pH and CE decreased to 5.5 in treatment 2, and 1.57 dS/m in treatment 0. All data measured in plants had the highest values in treatment 1, and all plants died in treatment 0. We believe that is necessary to do this experiment in the field to obtain additional data.

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Marcelino Bazán Tene, Javier Farías Larios, José Gerardo López Aguirre, Francisco Radillo Juárez and Jorge Rogelio Flores Sánchez

Production of horticultural crops is important throughout the world, with high consumption mainly in Europe and the United States of America. Cucumber is consumed both fresh and processed. This vegetable generates important profits for producing countries such as Mexico, which, in 2003, produced 435,897 tons of fresh fruit with a value of 1.190 million Mexican pesos (around USD $109 million). The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of the floating cover on the yield of fresh cucumbers. Four treatments and five repetitions were imposed in a randomized distribution: covered 20 days (C20) post-emergence, covered until beginning of flowering (CF), covered until beginning of harvest (CIC), and without cover (SC). Data at the first and fourth harvest were analyzed. Results showed that, in the first harvest, treatment C20 days was highest in fruit yield (3.11 ton/ha); Treatment CIC had 2.47 ton/ha, and SC produced 1.66 ton/ha. Data obtained in the fourth harvest, treatment C20, had the highest yield, with 24.12 ton/ha, and treatment CF had a yield of 21.11 ton/ha, but there was not significant difference (Tukey's P < 0.05).