Fig fruit latex yield and protease activity as influenced by cultivar, maturity stage and harvesting time
Latex production and protease activity were studied throughout three fruit maturity stages (unripe, mid-ripe and ripe), three times a day (morning, mid-day and late afternoon) on six fig cultivars of Smyrna type ('Khedri', 'Chetoui', 'Soltani', 'Bidhi', 'Bidh Begal' and 'Zidi') grown in center-east of Tunisia. Data subjected to general lineal model analysis showed that cultivar contributed most to the variation of protease activity. Latex collecting period and 'fruit growth stage × cultivar' interaction were associated mainly with protease activity. Latex yield variation was found to be related mostly to fruit growth stage. The results showed also that latex protease enzyme is enormously active, and enzyme activities varied according to fruit maturity stage and latex collecting period. In fact, for the majority of cultivars, fig fruits collected at mid maturity stage yielded the highest latex content with the most important protease activity. However, the maximum of protease activity was registred at mid maturity stage for four cultivars while 'Chetoui' and 'Bidh Begal' cultivars provided high activity at full ripe fruit stage. Interstingly, fig fruits collected at late afternoon generated the maximum of latex content. This study supports the importance of fig material as potential source of latex enzymes, as well as the knowledge of the optimum period and fruit stage to extract the maximum of protease activity.
Lazreg Aref , H., Zaouay, F., Hammami, M. and Mars, M. 2017. Fig fruit latex yield and protease activity as influenced by cultivar, maturity stage and harvesting time. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1173:323-328
Ficus carica, fruit, latex production, enzymes, variation sources