• Vegetative, reproductive and yield responses of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) seedlings to low temperature and exogenous sucrose treatments

      Oebker, Norman F.; Ibrahim, Abdelaziz Ali Mohamed, 1948- (The University of Arizona., 1994)
      The effects of subjection of 15-day-old plants of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L. 'Contessa') to low night temperature (LNT) of 4°C for up to 21 nights and pre-chilling application of 10% sucrose solution on vegetative, reproductive and yield responses were examined under greenhouse conditions. Chilled seedlings exhibited severe inhibition of growth, with the degree of inhibition increasing with length of chilling. While sucrose treatment (ST) reduced such inhibition and promoted subsequent recovery, it transiently inhibited growth of the unchilled controls. In the long-term, inhibition of growth was observed only for the 0%-sucrose-treated plants cooled for 21 nights. Although LNT lowered the position of the first inflorescence in a direct relation to duration of exposure, this effect was reduced by ST. LNT had no lasting effects on the reproductive and productivity responses of the first two inflorescence (FTI), earliness of flowering, or potential yield and quality. ST promoted flowering of only the 21-day-cooled plants as well as numbers of flowers, fruit set and large fruit responses of FTI. The results indicate that, although early chilling stunts seedling growth, plants may recover at a later favorable temperature without loss to their reproductive capacity or yielding potential.