CHEMICAL THINNING OF MORULA (SCLEROCARYA BIRREA SUBSPECIES CAFFRA) FRUIT USING BENZYLADENINE

O.G. Moatshe, V.E. Emongor, O. Oagile
A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of benzyladenine (BA) on fruit set and quality of morula (Sclerocarya birrea subspecies caffra). Benzyladenine was applied when the fruitlets were 8-10 mm in diameter at concentrations of 0, 50, 100 or 150 mg L-1. Benzyladenine application significantly (P<0.001) reduced fruit set of morula trees by between 48-67%. Application of BA to morula fruit trees significantly (P<0.001) increased fruit size (length and diameter), density and weight. However, BA application had no significant effect on the fruit length-to-diameter (L:D) ratio. Benzyladenine significantly (P<0.01) increased the fruit endocarp but decreased mesocarp of morula fruit by the same margin (1.1-6.3%). Suggesting that BA-induced increase in fruit weight was attributed to increase in the endocarp. Application of BA to morula trees resulted in fruits with significantly (P<0.05) higher soluble solids content, titratable acidity and citric acid equivalent compared to control unsprayed trees. Morula trees sprayed with BA had significantly (P<0.001) higher leaf area, total leaf chlorophyll content, chlorophyll A and chlorophyll B, respectively than unsprayed trees. Benzyladenine also promoted morula fruit colour development. The results of this study showed that BA has the potential to be used as a chemical thinner of morula or chemical agent that improves fruit quality. However, further research on concentration and timing of application needs to be done.
Moatshe, O.G., Emongor, V.E. and Oagile, O. (2011). CHEMICAL THINNING OF MORULA (SCLEROCARYA BIRREA SUBSPECIES CAFFRA) FRUIT USING BENZYLADENINE. Acta Hortic. 911, 395-408
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.911.46
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.911.46
BA, chemical thinning, fruit set, fruit quality
English

Acta Horticulturae