EVALUATION OF YIELD AND FRUIT QUALITY OF NEWLY INTRODUCED CHERRY TOMATO CULTIVARS UNDER HIGH TUNNEL CONDITIONS

Abstract

Nine newly introduced cherry tomato cultivars were evaluated for the yield and yield components and some phytochemical characteristics under high tunnel conditions. The cultivars were Indigo Rose, Oregon II, Indigo Kiwi, Saucy, Oroma, Oregon Cherry, Large German, Gold Nugget, and Indigo Cherry Drops which were developed at Oregon State University breeding programs. A completely randomized block design with three replications was followed in this study. The number of fruits per plant, average fruit weight, plant yield, fruit pH, total soluble solids (TSS) of the fruits, total phenolic content (TPC), and antioxidant activity of the fruits was measured. Gold Nugget showed the highest fruit number per plant (237.89) and yield per plant (2.08 Kg) while Indigo Kiwi expressed the largest fruit weight (50.08 g). In addition, the cultivars showed a wide range of quality characteristics. The fruit pH ranged between (3.73- 4.45) for Gold Nugget and Oroma, respectively whereas the TSS ranged between (3.71- 9.60) for Indigo Rose and Oregon II, respectively. Also, the cultivars showed a wide range in TPC (0.11-0.56 mg GAE g-1 E) for Gold Nugget and Oregon Cherry, respectively. Moreover, the results showed that the cultivars varied in ABTS Inhibition percentage (14.04- 44.95%) in Gold Nugget and Saucy, respectively. Regarding repining time, the earliest cultivars were Gold Nugget, Oregon II, and Oregon Cherry which harvested 66 days after transplanting, while the Indigo Rose cultivar, on the other hand, was extremely late which harvested 112 days after transplanting.