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  • Author or Editor: Yun T. Ma x
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A. Maaike Wubs, Yun T. Ma, Ep Heuvelink, Lia Hemerik and Leo F.M. Marcelis

Quantifying fruit growth can be desirable for several purposes (e.g., prediction of fruit yield and size, or for the use in crop simulation models). The goal of this article was to determine the best sigmoid function to describe fruit growth of pepper (Capsicum annuum) from nondestructive fruit growth measurements. The Richards, Gompertz, logistic, and beta growth functions were tested. Fruit growth of sweet pepper was measured nondestructively in an experiment with three different average daily temperatures (18, 21, and 24 °C) and in an experiment with six cultivars with different fruit sizes (20 to 205 g fresh weight). Measurements of fruit length and fruit diameter or circumference were performed twice per week. From these, fruit volume was estimated. A linear relationship related fruit fresh weight to estimated fruit volume, and a Ricker or polynomial function related fruit dry matter content to fruit age. These relations were used to convert estimated fruit volume into fruit fresh and dry weights. As dry weight increased until harvest, fitting the sigmoid function to the dry weight data was less suitable: it would create uncertainty in the estimated asymptote. Therefore, the sigmoid functions were fitted to fresh weight growth of the fruit. The Richards function was the best function in each data set, closely followed by the Gompertz function. The fruit dry weight growth is obtained by multiplication of the sigmoid function and the function relating fruit dry matter content to fruit age.