CULTIVAR DIFFERENCES IN THE INCIDENCE OF FRUIT ROTS IN BREADFRUIT (ARTOCARPUS ALTILIS)
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is well-recognised as having significant potential as a tropical food crop; however, short shelf life significantly constrains its availability for greater utilisation. In the Caribbean, fruit rots and other defects are among several preharvest factors that reduce fruit quality and marketability at harvest and may also contribute to poor postharvest quality. Breadfruit genetic diversity in the region is very limited; therefore, it is important to determine whether cultivar differences in susceptibility to fruit rots and defects exist. In this study the incidence of fruit rots and other fruit defects including cracking, immaturity or over-maturity, deformity or damage during harvesting was evaluated during the dry and wet season in 2005 and 2006 in 39 accessions in a breadfruit germplasm collection at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago. The accessions consisted of cultivars collected from the Caribbean and imported from the National Tropical Botanic Garden in Hawaii. Among the accessions the incidence of fruit rots on harvested fruit ranged from 0 to 84.1%. Differences among accessions were very highly significant (p<0.001) for the incidence of fruit rot, the percentage of the fruit surface affected with fruit rot, over-maturity and cracking. The differences among accessions on the percentage of unmarketable fruits were very highly significant (p=0.000). Unmarketable fruits accounted for 46.7% of all harvested fruit with fruit rots appearing on 63.4% and other fruit defects on 36.6% of unmarketable fruit. These results indicate serious losses of marketable yield, and potentially of postharvest quality, due to fruit rots and other defects which may be alleviated by cultivar selection, improved crop management and cultivar specific maturity indices.
Roberts-Nkrumah, L.B. and Daley, O. (2014). CULTIVAR DIFFERENCES IN THE INCIDENCE OF FRUIT ROTS IN BREADFRUIT (ARTOCARPUS ALTILIS). Acta Hortic. 1047, 75-85
accessions, fruit defects, postharvest quality, unmarketability