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The effect of climatic factors at different growth periods on pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) fruit quality and yield



Pepino, native to South America, is an evergreen, exotic plant species that belongs to the Solanaceae family and has been known and grown for a long time. In the study, the effect of different planting months, April and May in 2004 and 2006, on fruit quality and yield were investigated. Fruit diameter and length, fruit weight, fruit numbers per plant and yield were considered with climatic factors. The experiments were conducted in a split-plot design with three replications, and all data were subjected to statistical evaluation. In 2004 with an April planting time, there were significant differences in fruit diameter, weight, fruit number per plant and yield while fruit length showed numerical difference. With the exception of fruit length, the other parameters did not show statistically significant differences although all data in 2004 were higher than those for 2006 numerically. It could be suggested that in the growing of pepino numerical differences in fruit diameter, fruit weight, fruit number per plant and yield are affected by climatic factors.
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.7 (2), April 2009 55 1
The effect of climatic factors at different growth periods on pepino
(Solanum muricatum Aiton) fruit quality and yield
Aysun ÇavuÍo«lu *, Emine s. Erkel and Melekber SülüÍo«lu
Kocaeli University, Arslanbey Agricultural Vocational School, 41285, Kocaeli, Turkey.
Received 25 January 2009, accepted 11 April 2009.
Pepino, native to South America, is an evergreen, exotic plant species that belongs to the Solanaceae family and has been known and grown for a
long time. In the study, the effect of different planting months, April and May in 2004 and 2006, on fruit quality and yield were investigated. Fruit
diameter and length, fruit weight, fruit numbers per plant and yield were considered with climatic factors. The experiments were conducted in a
split-plot design with three replications, and all data were subjected to statistical evaluation. In 2004 with an April planting time, there were
significant differences in fruit diameter, weight, fruit number per plant and yield while fruit length showed numerical difference. With the exception
of fruit length, the other parameters did not show statistically significant differences although all data in 2004 were higher than those for 2006
numerically. It could be suggested that in the growing of pepino numerical differences in fruit diameter, fruit weight, fruit number per plant and
yield are affected by climatic factors.
Key words: Solanum muricatum, pepino, planting time, fruit quality, yield, climatic factors.
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment Vol.7 (2) : 551-554. 2009
WFL Publisher
Science and Technology
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Helsinki, Finland
Pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) is a plant that is produced for
its fruits and belongs to the Solanaceae family. It is grown widely
in the north of South America and cultivated extensively in Chile1.
It has only very recently become known and cultivated in Turkey,
therefore, the amount of scientific study on this species is very
minimal in the country. Pepino, when grown in its natural
environment South America, is an evergreen plant that resembles
a small shrub which can produce fruits up to 15 cm in diameter.
These fruits are not only sweet and tasty but have an attractive
appearance with their purple stripes and yellow skin 1. Pepino is a
versatile fruit and can be consumed in different ways depending
on its maturity stage 2. The fruit is sweet and fragrant, high in
vitamins 3 with hypotensive and anti-tumour effects 4.
Mishqui (Solanum muricatum Aiton), also known as pepino, is
of interest as a crop for horticultural diversification in intensive
horticultural systems 5. Mishqui shows an impressive variation
for many characters of agronomic interest 6. This variation can be
exploited in order to select earlier clones. On the other hand, the
use of growing techniques that allow a reduction in the cycle
length also could contribute to an increase in earliness 5.
Pepino fruits have a very long growing period and also take 4 to
6 months to ripen 7. Several techniques are useful in improving
mishqui earliness. One of them is irrigation with saline water 5.
Others are auxin sprayings during fruit set 8, 9 and ethephone
applications 5. Other studies exist regarding fruit quality and
quantity. Morato et al. 10 have calculated parameters such as the
soluble content, yield, fruit number and fruit weight by applying
two different pruning methods to two pepino clones in hydroponic
culture. Kowalczyk and Kobryn 11 have measured the biological
values of pepinos that were grown in a greenhouse on rockwool
during two different ripening periods, spring-summer and autumn
The purpose of this study was to reach information on yield and
some quality components of pepino (Solanum muricatum cv.
Miski) when grown under climatic condition in Kocaeli province
of Turkey. Since the cultivar has been recently given special
attention in the country, information on planting time is essential
in efficient breeding program for yield increase and to make
performance of the commercial cultivar higher. The effects of two
different planting months (April and May) in two different years
(2004 and 2006) on fruit diameter and fruit length as fruit quality,
as well as on total yield parameters such as fruit weight, amount
of fruits per plant and yield measures were studied.
Material and Methods
Experimental site: The experiments were performed in the same
field in the years 2004 and 2006 under Kocaeli University,
Arslanbey Campus, field conditions. Kocaeli province is in North-
Western part of Turkey. At the experimental area, the altitude was
100 m with location at latitude 40°46’N and longitude 29°56’E. In
that part of the country summers are hot and dry, winters are cold
and rainy. However, there are a lot of fields, orchards, glass-houses
and plastic tunnels where most of well-known annual summer or
winter vegetables, field crops and perennial fruits are grown like
in other parts of the country.
Soil analysis: In the first year, soil sampled at the depth of 0-30 cm
was analysed before fertilizer application and planting. The soil
included clay 76.34%, the pH was slightly alcalic at 7.4 and in
terms of salt soil was not salty with a rate of 0.058%. The CaCO3
552 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.7 (2), April 2009
content was 0.97% and therefore the soil was slightly calciferous.
Organic material content 2.34% was at a medium level, nitrogen
content 0.117% at a good level, the P2O5 level 41.4 kg.ha-1 slightly
phosphoric and K2O level 247.6 kg ha-1 was low in potassium.
Meteorological conditions: Among meterological parameters, the
monthly minimum air temperature, monthly maximum air
temperature, monthly average temperature, monthly average
relative humidity and rainy days during the growing months (from
April to November) are shown in Table 1.
Plant material: The seedlings, used in the experiment were first
obtained during the January months of the aforementioned years,
full-grown pepino plants (Solanum muricatum cv. Miski) that were
recently begun to spread out commercially in Turkey. The cultivar
is herbaceous and has very branching habit with nearly woody
main stem. Fruits have attractive appearance with torpedo-like
semi-heart shape and cream-yellowish peel with dark-purple strips.
The seedlings were brought up in non-heated greenhouses. They
were 15 cm in length and these branch cuttings, which included 7-
8 nodes, were rooted under perlite. In March these rooted cuttings
were planted into seedling bags of 10 cm3 that contained a mixture
of perlite:turf:soil (1:1:1) and they were provided growing up in
the same greenhouse until transplanting of the seedlings.
Field preparation, fertilization and irrigation: Before planting
the seedlings, the field was first ploughed and in both years all
the parcels were equally fertilized at a ratio of 300 kg.ha-1 with 15-
15-15% N-P-K compound commercial granule fertilizer and finally
it was processed with cultivators in preparation for planting.
Seedlings that had 8-10 leaves were transplanted on April 27 and
May 27, 2004 followed by the 2004 experimentation and on April
25 and May 25, 2006 they were planted in the field followed by the
2006 experimentation. Experimental fields were irrigated once in
every three days with drip-irrigation system. Water was supplied
from a deep drilling in the area.
Plantation and experimental design: In both years the planting
times were one month apart. In this experiment, which was
performed in three replications according to the split-plot design,
the rows were separated by 1 m, and the plants by 50 cm within
the rows. In each sub-plot there were 36 plants, with 20 plants
excluded from the tests due to exposure to effects from the side,
so that the data were based on 16 plants per sub-plot. The fruits
that appeared ripe with cream-yellowish peel and purple stripes
were regularly harvested by hand in Monday in every week in
2004 between August 13 and November 19 for fifteen weeks and,
in 2006, between September 21 and October 12 for four weeks.
Fruit diameter and length were measured and recorded from
apparently the widest and the tallest part of all harvested samples
by using caliper-compass. The fruit number per plant was counted
with all samples. Yield was scaled with a scale for each sub-plot
weekly. All fruit samples measured and scaled were of commercial
appearance with no bruised and squashed parts.
Statistical analysis: Data were subjected to ANOVA analysis
(Minitab for Windows), sources of variation were fruit quality
and quantity parameters at two planting times in two years of
treatments. Mean comparisons were performed using Duncan’s
Multiple-Range Test to examine if differences of variables were
significant at p<0.05.
Fruit diameter: As can be seen from Table 2, fruit diameter reached
its maximum and showed statistically difference with the April
2004 plantation at 6.91 cm/fruit, whereas May 2004, April 2006 and
May 2006 brought results which were similar to each
other. In terms of fruit diameter, there is not a
statistically significant difference by years.
Fruit length: The data did not vary in terms of planting
months but varied according to the year statistically,
and as a result the 2004 average in fruit length was
found to be superior, at 8.28 cm/fruit, to the average of
2006 (7.67 cm/fruit). Comparing the months, April 2004
plantation gave the best result numerically.
Experiment month Meteorological parameter Year
April May June July August September October November
2004 0.1 8.2 12.8 15.4 16.0 10.7 9.8 0.3 Minimum air temperature
(qC) 2006 4.2 8.6 13.0 15.0 16.5 14.5 9.1 1.5
2004 32.0 29.7 33.8 34.8 36.5 35.9 30.6 27.2
Maximum air temperature
(qC) 2006 29.4 34.4 37.1 32.8 38.7 30.8 29.0 23.1
2004 13.4 17.2 21.7 23.6 23.6 21.1 17.7 12.3
Average air temperature
(qC) 2006 13.4 17.9 22.1 23.6 26.5 20.3 16.9 10.6
2004 71.1 71.5 69.7 69.0 71.9 71.2 72.1 70.8
humidity (%) 2006 64.7 62.6 65.5 62.9 63.2 72.4 78.1 71.5
2004 6 8 13 3 9 5 7 11
Rainy days (days/month)
(above 0.1 mm ) 2006 6 5 11 2 2 14 13 9
Table 1. Meteorological parameters in growing seasons (from April to November) in 2004 and 2006*.
*The data were obtained from Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Turkish State Meteorological Service.
*Different lower-case letters within a column denote significant differences between the four months at p<0.05 and,
**Different capital within a column denotes significant differences between the two years at p<0.05 by Duncan test after
variance analysis using the Minitab for Windows Statistisc Program.
Year Planting
Fruit number
(t ha
April 6.91 a 8.51 268 a 7.08 a 36.52 a 2004
May 6.45 b 8.04 223 b 2.97 ab 14.03 ab
Average 6.68 8.28 A 246 5.03 25.28
April 6.09 b 7.58 164 c 2.12 ab 6.48 b
May 6.37 b 7.76 200 bc 0.97 b 3.68 b
Average 6.23 7.67 B 182 1.55 5.08
Table 2. Effects of planting time on fruit quality, yield components and
yield in 2004 and 2006.
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.7 (2), April 2009 55 3
Fruit weight: The result which is a yield indicator, did not vary
statistically based on the yearly averages, but April 2004 plantings
showed statistically significance with the heaviest weight at 268
g/fruit while the April 2006 plantings yielded the lowest weight at
164 g/fruit.
Number of fruits per plant: It was also statistically independent
of yearly averages, as the April 2004 planting gave the superior
result at 7.08 fruits/plant. The lowest result in this parameter was
obtained with the May 2006 planting (0.97 fruits/plant). The data
showed statistically significance of planting months on fruit
number per plant dependently planting months. The data verified
that early plantation has a great impact on fruit set in the two
Yield: The yield in 2004 did not produce any statistically significant
results, yet on average it was found superior to the yield of 2006,
and statistically April 2004 plantings were the best at 36.52 t ha-1,
May 2004 results were second at 14.03 t ha-1, while 2006 April and
May plantings were last yielding 6.48 and 3.68 tha-1, respectively.
The results showed that early planting time gives the best yield in
both two years. In addition to the results, environmental condition
strictly affected yield in different years.
Comparing the years, even though there were no significant
differences, except for fruit length, the cultivation in the year 2004
was in every parameter superior to the average values of 2006
(Table 2). Taking yearly averages, the fruit diameter was 6.68 cm/
fruit in 2004 and 6.23 cm/fruit in 2006; fruit weight 246 g/fruit in
2004 and 182 g/fruit in 2006; number of fruits 5.03 fruits/plant in
2004 and 1.55 fruits/plant in 2006; while the yield in 2004 was
25.28 t ha-1 and 5.08 t.ha-1 in 2006. In terms of yearly averages the
year 2004 was numerically higher in every parameter.
The topic of the experiment, that is, the fruit quality of the plants
planted at different times in the same field, in terms of fruit quality
parameters, yield and yield components, has not been tested before
in our condition, and therefore the discussion is carried out
considering experiments which are similar although not the same.
Accordingly, the planting times (April and May) are very
convenient for annual plants in summer in the city where the
experiment was performed. A study performed by Ercan and Ak²ll²12
in Antalya, the South of Turkey, on pepino plants in an open-area,
was run from April to August and concentrated on parthenocarpy,
implementing various hormone applications. This resulted in a
fruit weight in control fruits of 73.44 g/fruit. In our study, the
average weight ranged from 164-268 g/fruit.
The space distribution we used in our study, 2 plants m-2, is the
same as Welles 13 used in the Netherlands in a glass greenhouse
through January-July. In this study the ripening period of pepino
fruit was about 80-90 days and that he was able to obtain a
production of 9-10 kg m-2. In our study, the highest yield rate was
3.652 kg m-2 which was obtained in the April 2004 planting trial.
Morato et al. 10 performed two different pruning applications on
two pepino clones at two seasons, in a glass greenhouse in a
hydroponic system in rockwool, and the yield ranged from 2 to 4.8
kg/plant depending on the clones and the seasons in which they
were grown. In our study, this range was 0.184-1.82 kg/plant
depending on the treatment of the plants. The differences in
cultivating techniques should not be ignored.
In a study by Gonzales et al. 2, it was emphasized that samples
gathered for color and fruit composition at 3 different stages of
ripeness ranged from 181 to 330 g in commercial weights. In our
studies, the weight of the fruits ranged between 164 and 268 g on
average, ignoring the applications, and this result matches those
According to a study carried out by Chen et al. 14 under
controlled conditions, NaCl salinity and carbon dioxide enrichment
on pepino in sand culture, the number of fruits varied between
0.75 and 5 fruits/plant depending on the applications. In our studies
this number varied between 0.97 and 7.08 fruits/plant, although
the treatments applied were different.
When the years are considered separately from other factors,
April 2004 planting showed numerical or statistical superiority
over the month of May 2004 in all parameters. In 2006, the April
planting was superior in terms of fruit number per plant and yield
but the May transplantation exceeded April’s in fruit diameter,
fruit length and fruit weight. In addition, when comparing the
avarage values of the two years, the year 2004 was superior in
every respect to the year 2006, although statistically only fruit
length could demonstrate this difference in parameters. This study
suggests that the growing of pepino depends on years and
consequently on climatic conditions.
Prohens et al. 15 showed that temperatures under 10°C and above
30°C are poor conditions for fruit formation, while BeÍirli and
Sürmeli 16 suggested that temperatures below 12°C and above
25°C affected yield negatively and low light intensity would hinder
the fruit from growing creme-yellow after ripening, decreasing the
amount of sugar content. In another study performed under
controlled glasshouse condition in our campus, air temperature
higher than 25°C caused negative effect on flower formation and
fruit set (unpublished data). Rodriguez-Burruezo et al.17 stated
that environmental factors play a large role in fruit quality, which
should be the main object of pepino cultivation programming.
Hewett 1 stated that problems in nutrition, warmth, light and
ripeness were to be solved and the best products would be
obtained under controlled conditions of cultivation. Kowalczyk
and Kobryn 18 performed a study using five pepino clones exposed
to two different light intensities of 70-75 and 200-250 µEm-2s-1
during two different day lenghts for 10 and 16 hours in a day, and
stated that the effect of the short day was observed in reduced
mass of fruit set in all the studied pepino clones.
In the light of all this data, in our experimental years during the
months of May and June, when the blossoms form that will
produce fruits capable of ripening, the highest temperatures in
2004 were 29.7 and 33.8°C; while in 2006 the highest temperatures
for those months were 34.4 and 37.1°C, respectively, significantly
higher than in 2004. This would suggest a negative effect on
flower formation and fruit yield. Nevertheless, during September,
the month when the pepino fruit, which enjoys heat while ripening,
truly matures, the maximum temperatures were 35.9°C in 2004 and
30.8°C in 2006, with 2006 thus showing a significant decrease.
This might indicate an interruption in ripening. Similarly, during
the ripening months, September and October, the number of rainy
days were 5 and 7, respectively, in 2004 and 14 and 13 in 2006. This
information suggests a decrease in light intensity with a
consequent negative effect on fruit maturity.
554 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.7 (2), April 2009
Ultimately, pepino is a plant the growing of which depends on
years and consequently on climatic conditions, yet early
transplantation (following late spring frosts) might affect other
main quantity parameters such as fruits amount per plant and
yield. In our study, which ended with the first frosts of autumn,
we observed in both two years many fruits that could not complete
ripening although they remained on the plants after harvesting.
Therefore, this study was the first to explore cultivation seasons
in our region and it indicates the need for other experiments
(greenhouse cultivation, application of plant growth regulators,
watering with salt water, etc.) that encourage earliness and the
acceleration of ripening.
This research was supported by Scientific Research Committee of
Kocaeli University, Turkey. Project No:2004/25
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2000. Colour and composition of improved pepino cultivars at three
ripening stages. Gartenbauwissenschaft 65:83-87.
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4Ren, W.P. and Tang, D.G. 1999. Extract of Solanum muricatum (Pepino/
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... contrary, lower fruit weight of 268 g, 80-250g and 181-330 g of pepino melon have been reported [41][42][43]. Similarly, Martinetti and Paganini [44] reported that increased fertilizer rates led to an increase in fruit weight up to a point beyond which there was no significant increase in fruit weight. ...
... On the contrary, Nkansah et al., [32] reported high yield for greenhouse grown sweet pepper compared to open field grown sweet pepper plants. In a study by Cavusoglu et al., [41] the yield of pepino melon was found to be 3.68 t ha -1 to 14.03 t ha -1 . This was higher than the yield recorded in this study, however, Cavusoglu et al., [41] reported that the yield of pepino melon depends on climatic conditions. ...
... In a study by Cavusoglu et al., [41] the yield of pepino melon was found to be 3.68 t ha -1 to 14.03 t ha -1 . This was higher than the yield recorded in this study, however, Cavusoglu et al., [41] reported that the yield of pepino melon depends on climatic conditions. In this study, the low yield recorded in the greenhouse might be due to increased flower abortion as compared to field where flower abortion was minimal. ...
Full-text available
Pepino melon ( Solanum muricatum Ait.) is an exotic vegetable whose consumption is on the increase in Kenya due to its health and nutritional benefits. A study was conducted at Egerton University, Kenya in 2018-2019 to investigate the effect of NPK fertilizer rates (0, 100, 200. 300 and 400 kg ha ⁻¹ ) on growth and yield of field and greenhouse grown pepino melons. The experiment was laid in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Data was recorded on plant height, stem diameter, number of leaves per bush, number of branches, days to 50% flowering, fruit weight and total yield. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance with the SAS statistical package. Significant means were separated using Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference at p ≤ 0.05. Results indicated that NPK fertilizer rates and growing environment influenced growth and yield of pepino melon. At 100 DAP plants grown in the greenhouse and supplied with 200 kg NPK ha ⁻¹ had a stem diameter of 14.01 mm which was significantly bigger p ≤ 0.05 compared to those grown in the field and supplied with 300 kg NPK ha ⁻¹ with a stem diameter of 11.71 mm in trial two. Application of 300 kg NPK ha ⁻¹ for field grown pepino melons gave the highest yield of 1102.48 kg ha ⁻¹ and 1060.55 kg ha ⁻¹ in trial one and two respectively. In conclusion, application of 300 kg ha ⁻¹ of NPK fertilizer for field grown pepino melon is recommended.
... Finally, the Pepino fruit was significant during pre-Columbian times; in its region of origin exists pottery representations and depictions from the Mochica (approximately 500 AD) 32,33 , and Nazca cultures in Peru 34 , and many references by the first Spanish chroniclers 35 . There was a rediscovery of the Pepino for commercial exploitation in the 1970s-80s, stimulated by the attempts to introduce exotic fruits [36][37][38] , and several cultivars were released at that time 36,39,40 . ...
The current project addresses the great potential of S. caripense Dunal (Tzimbalo) for intraspecific breeding and interspecific gene flow towards the related commercial crop S. muricatum Aiton (Pepino) to develop fruits with improved antioxidants, flavor, and fruit weight. This study aims to determine the interaction between genotype x altitude and identify significant differences between treatments according to fruit weight. Tzimbalo varieties GenPurpura, Gennbiotz, and GenDulce, were used. Fruit weight was analyzed using a factorial experiment under a completely randomized design (CRD). The interaction Var. x m.a.s.l. was significant (mean ± SE), Gennbiotz:a1 (4.88 g ± 0.44; C) and GenDulce:a2 (4.38 g ± 0.25; BC), followed by GenPurpura:a1 (3.33 g ± 0.36; AB); also the principal effect Var. was significant, Gennbiotz (3.93 g ± 0.23; B) and GenDulce (3.64 g ± 0.25; B), followed by GenPurpura (2.90 g ± 0.19; A). These results demonstrate distinctness, uniformity, and stability (DUS) of at least one tzimbalo variety. Fruit weight and other characteristics are relevant to improve quality and commercial potential. They are used to develop biofortified beer, jam, ice cream, and plant tissue culture media with sucrose and vitamins to strengthen biotechnological production in Cotopaxi-Ecuador. Keywords: factorial experiment; tzimbalo varieties; fruit quality; genotype; agri-biotechnology.
... The existence of genetic variability is a must for developing effective breeding programs. However, studies on the genetic variability of this species are scarce (Cavusoglu et al., 2009) and no studies are available about the variability of the fruit. To contribute to the knowledge of genetic variability in pepino fruit in Chile, a segregant population obtained from local ecotypes was studied. ...
Full-text available
Solanum muricatum Aiton is an herbaceous perennial fruit species native to the Andean region of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. In Chile, it was probably introduced in pre-Columbian times as a domesticated species and is presently grown in the coastal areas of the north-central regions of Coquimbo and Valpara so. The species has been bred, but little information is available on its genetic variability in Chile. To characterize the genetic variability in this species, fruits were collected from 14 different ecotypes and seeds were sown to generate approximately 60 segregants from each accession. Segregants were planted at two different locations to characterize their fruits and fruiting habits. Fruit weight ranged from 30 to 485 g, while length was 3.5 to 16.7 cm, equatorial diameter 3.4 to 9.5 cm, pulp firmness 1.7 to 10 N, and soluble solids content 6.3 to 13.5 degrees Brix. Fruit shape ranged from flat to oblong. When analyzing the estimated variance components with a mixed linear model, most of the variability between different ecotypes was in fruit shape, length, and weight, which resulted in a genetic contribution of 34.6%, 29.3%, and 18.1% of the total variability of these traits, respectively. Genetic variability was also found for pulp firmness and soluble solids content. Therefore, enough variability is available in seed-propagated pepinos from Chilean ecotypes to allow genetic improvement of these fruit quality traits. There was also variability from genotype x environment interactions; therefore, selections must be performed for specific environments or stable selections must be found.
... This initiative was subsequently followed by other countries like Spain, France, Italy, The Netherlands, USA, Israel, Korea, or Australia . In recent years, other pepino development programs have been developed in other countries, like Turkey and Iran (Cavusoglu, Erkel & Sulusoglu, 2009;Nemati, Karimian, Tehranifar, Mashhadian & Lakzian, 2009). ...
The pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) is a neglected Andean crop that has elicited an increasing interest from exotic fruit markets. The pepino is highly diverse and, by using appropriate breeding strategies, it has been possible to develop new improved materials. Here we review more than a decade of efforts and advancements made in the genetic improvement of the pepino for several traits, with special emphasis on fruit quality. Different strategies, like the use of a wide diversity of genetic resources, exploitation of genotype × environment interaction, use of clonal hybrids, and introgression of genes from wild species, have facilitated significant developments in enhancing the commercial potential of the pepino, and have allowed the development of new cultivars and breeding materials adapted to new agroclimatic conditions. Agronomic performance of the pepino has been improved by the use of genetic parthenocarpy, selection for resistance to Tomato Mosaic Virus, and by developing hybrids, that manifested heterosis, but also did not have lower quality fruit. Breeding for quality has been focused mostly on the improvement of flavor (sweetness and aroma) and nutritional value (ascorbic acid content; AAC). Despite the limited intraspecific diversity available for sugar content, materials with high soluble solids content (SSC) have been selected. Strategies for further increases of SSC and titratable acidity have been based in the use of wild relatives. The study of variation within the cultigen was also helpful in the selection of hybrid genotypes with improved aroma profiles and high AAC values. As a result of the breeding efforts, several cultivars with improved agronomic performance and fruit quality have been produced. The use of biotechnological tools represents an opportunity to use the extensive genomic information compiled for related species, like tomato or potato, for the future improvement and enhancement of pepino quality. The results obtained in the pepino show that ample opportunities exist for improving the commercial potential of under-utilized fruits by means of breeding based on the exploitation of genetic diversity.
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A method for the micropropagation of pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) from nodal segments was developed. Detailed surface disinfection methods of leaves and nodes were tested. Via establishment of initial culture using nodal segments, effect of Murashige and Skoog Basal Medium (MS) with N6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 mg/l) or MS with α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) (2, 4, 6 and 8 mg/l) on some morphologic and vital parameters were noted. To obtain the best shoot multiplication medium from shoot tips of in vitro growth plants; MS with BAP (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 mg/l) and control medium without any plant growth regulators were tested. In both of the two stages, proliferation rate (%), number of shoots (shoot number/explant), length of shoots (cm), callusing rate (%) and callus size (cm) were determined. In addition, at initial culture, rooting rate (%), number of roots (root number/explant) and length of roots (cm) were also evaluated. Fully expanded shoots were transferred rooting medium MS with or without indole-butyric acid (IBA) (0, 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 mg/l) and rooting rate (%), classification of root quality, callusing rate (%), callus size (cm), and length of shoots (cm) were determined. Initiation time of rooting according to treatments were also observed in every day and fully in vitro rooted plants transferred two different acclimatization media under two different climatic conditions step by step and for each step survival rate (%) were evaluated.
The aim of this study is to determine some color and physical properties of pepino fruit (Solanum muricatum Aiton) which is one of the latest introduced vegetables to Turkey. The demand for pepino is increasing in the country due to its nutritional value, flavor and attractive appearance and medicinal uses. For this purpose, some color and physical properties of pepino fruits grown in Samsun province in Turkey were examined. The average fruit mass and shape factor were 285.74 g and 0.90, respectively. The minimum and maximum fruit length and width ranged between 83.64-120.75 mm and 53.33-89.19 mm. The average aspect ratio was determined as 76.94%. Fruit firmness varied from 14.60 to 26.40 kg cm-2 as an average of 17.53 kg cm-2. The mean color intensity (chroma) was 15.79 while hue angle was found to be 76.93. The minimum and maximum values of bulk density, porosity and sphericity were determined as between 374.44-501.09 kg m-3; 48.93-61.90% and 67.82-97.76%, respectively. The results of this study can be used for pepino mechanization and processing. © 2014 National Centre for Agrarian Sciences. All rights reserved.
Over two seasons, the effects of two pruning types (2 and 4 branches per plant) on yields and quality of two clones (CH3 and CH8) of pepino were studied on plants grown in a hydroponic system in rockwool under greenhouse. Yield of clone CH8 was higher, although yields of both clones were high in both seasons (clone CH3: 2 and 2.9 kg plant-1; clone CH8: 4.8 and 4.3 kg plant-1). Moreover, fruit weight of clone CH8 was also higher but clone CH3 had higher early yields, particularly in the 1997/98 season, and also higher soluble solids content. Plants pruned and trained at 4 branches, particularly clone CH8, produced the highest yield and fruit number, without affecting fruit weight, soluble solids content or fruit firmness.
Depending on its ripening stage, the pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) can be consumed as a vegetable for cooking (green), for salads (turning), or as a dessert fruit (ripe). We studied physical (weight and colour), physicochemical (moisture content, soluble solids content, pH, and titratable acidity), and chemical (ascorbic acid content, soluble and total proteins) characteristics of two improved pepino cultivars ('Sweet Round' and 'Sweet Long') at the three maturity stages associated to the three different uses. Colour parameter a* and the hue angle allowed an unambiguous distinction between the different ripening stages, while parameters L*, b* and chroma did not. Moisture content was high at all ripening stages, usually above 90%. As the ripening progressed, pH and ascorbic acid content raised. The soluble solids content increased from the green to the turning stage in both cultivars, but there was no variation between the turning and ripe stages in 'Sweet Round' and a decrease in the ripe stage in 'Sweet Long'. Titratable acidity, and as a consequence the maturity index, showed irregular behaviour with the highest values at the turning stage. Protein content was low and showed little variation among clones and ripening stages.
The introduction of the pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) as a new crop for horticultural diversification requires cultivation with moderate temperatures during fruit set. Minimum temperatures lower than 10°C or a maximum higher than 30°C have a negative effect on fruit set, restricting the possible growing cycles in the Spanish Mediterranean. In this horticultural area, moderate temperatures are common in early spring and in autumn, leading to the spring-summer and autumn-winter cycles both in the open air and in the greenhouse. In the open air, flowering is delayed and high temperatures during spring and early summer impair fruit set. In the autumn-winter cycle the crop may be lost due to occasional frosts. Also, the extremely long ripening period makes this cycle not recommendable. The best productive results have been obtained under protected cultivation. Cultivation in greenhouse allows the obtention of very high yields in the spring-summer cycle, as flowering may take place in early spring. However, fruit quality is negatively affected by ripening at the high summer temperatures. On the other hand, in the autumn-winter cycle it is possible to obtain acceptable yields with fruit ripening taking place at the moderate temperatures, thus giving high fruit quality. This cycle can be further improved by ethephon applications to shorten the ripening period. We have found that sprayings of 300-1000 mg/l directed at the fruit can advance ripening by 1 month, although cultivars differ in their response. In addition, the utilization of parthenocarpic clones, which do not need to be pollinated to set fruit, may allow the obtention of high yields under suboptimal conditions for fruit set.
Conference Paper
Plants of three pepino clones, numbers 3, 4 and 6, were grown on rockwool, supplying the nutrient solution as recommended for tomatoes. Some plants were trained to one main stem, others to two stems. Plant density was 5 and 2.5 plant per m2, respectively. During the vegetative period, flowers were treated with Betoxon (NOA) or with 4-CPA. Betoxon was applied in 25 ppm or 50 ppm concentrations and 4-CPA - 15 ppm or 30 ppm. Pepino was cultivated in spring-summer and autumn cycles of the year 2000. At harvest, the total and marketable yields and fruit weight were determined. The obtained results showed that plants trained to one or two stems in spring-summer cycle gave similar total and marketable yields of fruit. In autumn growing cycle significantly higher yields in plants trained to one main stem were obtained. The highest yields were given by clone 6, in both growing cycles. Hormone treatment of flowers with Betoxon or with 4-CPA significantly increased the total and marketable yields of pepino fruit in spring-summer period, while in autumn cycle that effect was not significant. However, an early yield of fruit was greater with 4-CPA than with Betoxon. Both auxins were more efficient in higher concentrations.
The introduction of pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) as a new greenhouse crop relies on the development of clones that produce high fruit yields with an increased soluble solids concentration (SSC). We have evaluated two breeding strategies aimed at obtaining new, improved clones of this heterozygous vegetatively propagated crop: selection in the segregating generation F1 (hybrids) or in the first generation of selfing (selfings). We recorded the total yield, SSC, fruit weight, shape, firmness, titratable acidity and ascorbic acid concentration in seven populations of hybrids and in five populations of selfings. Four populations of clonal replicates were used to estimate environmental variability. Total yield and its heritability were higher in the hybrids than in the selfings. Expected responses to selection showed that it might be possible to select clones with a yield higher than 80 t ha-1 with selection pressures lower than 5% in some hybrid populations. Heritabilities for SSC were moderate, but clones with a SSC higher than 9.0 Brix could be selected. We also found an important variation in the other characters studied, indicating that improved clones could be selected for all of them. Values for genotypic correlations between characters were very variable. In most hybrid populations, however, we did not find negative genotypic correlations between yield and fruit quality characters. Our results indicate that new hybrid clones of pepino that exceed present clones in yield and fruit quality might be obtained.
One-month old, rooted semi-hardwood cutting plants of pepino cv. Xotus in sand-potted culture were treated with 200 ml Hoagland nutrient solution with or without additional 25 mM NaCl twice a week for 2 months, and exposed to 350 ± 10, 700 ± 10 or 1050 ± 10 ppm CO2 in controlled environment chambers during the last month of the experiment. Both NaCl salinity in the rhizosphere and atmospheric CO2 enrichment reduced the leaf content of total chlorophyll, chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b, as well as stomatal conductance and transpiration rate, but raised intercellular CO2 concentration and C2H4 emission of leaves. Minimal fluorescence yield, maximal fluorescence yield, variable fluorescence yield of dark-adapted leaves, optimal quantum yield and effective quantum yield of PS II, photochemical quenching coefficient, net photosynthetic rate, leaf water-potential, and photosynthetic water-use efficiency decreased under NaCl stress, but rose with an increase of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. In addition, the non-photochemical quenching coefficient and the dark respiration rate of leaves increased due to NaCl salinity and decreased at high CO2 conditions. On average, net photosynthetic rate and photosynthetic water-use efficiency of leaves decreased by 26–35% and 19–29% due to the presence of NaCl stress in the root medium, but increased by 75–98% and 85–123% at 700 ppm CO2, and by 72–91% and 124–147% at 1050 ppm CO2 in comparison with 350 ppm CO2 treatments. Under NaCl stress, high CO2 improved photosynthetic water-use efficiency of leaves.
The long period of time required for fruit ripening is a main drawback to the adoption of mishqui (Solanum muricatum) as a new crop. Variation in the fruit ripening period was studied in 18 mishqui clones in response to ethephon sprays (0, 500 or 2000mgl−1). Significant differences in the length of the fruit ripening period were detected between clones, ethephon doses and their interactions. Some clones did not respond to ethephon sprays, while in others the ripening period was shortened by more than 60%. In general, the effect of ethephon was greater in the clones with a longer ripening period. Furthermore, differences between clones of up to 20 days were found in the fruit growth period. Lengths of both periods (fruit growth and ripening) were not correlated, indicating that independent selection can be performed for both traits. The effects of ethephon on fruit quality characters were not significant in the majority of clones, although in five clones ethephon produced a skin degreening. Fruits from these clones had a higher firmness and lower soluble solid content (SSC) after ethephon treatment. On the other hand, ethephon sprays did not affect either the postharvest behaviour or the sensitivity to bruising. The results obtained here point to the existence of genotypic variation in the fruit ripening physiology of this species and they give relevant information for the improvement of mishqui earliness.