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Carotenoid content of tomato fruits as influenced by environment and variety. I. Effect of temperature and light



Carotenoid content of tomato fruits as influenced by environment and variety. I. Effect of temperature and light



Iowa State Coll Jour Sci 25(4): 549-564



Mature-green Rutgers tomato fruits were ripened in storage incubators at 4 sets of temp. cycles. The 15[degree] and 25[degree]C cycle produced the largest amount of lycopene, whereas the 20[degree] and 30[degree]C cycle resulted in greatest xanthophyll production. The mean of the 2 temps. of each treatment seemed to be the determining influence for lycopene production. Carotenoid development was studied as affected by spectral composition of light. In field expts., tomatoes grown and ripened inside orange cellophane bags were lower in lycopene content than those encased in colorless cellophane. Violet cellophane increased xanthophyll production. Tomatoes of the Rutgers var., grown and ripened in the dark, developed both lycopene and xanthophyll; however, light was essential for maximum development of both pigments. Carotene and xanthophyll content of immature tomato fruits grown in the dark decreased with age, whereas an increase for carotene but not for xanthophyll was found for fruit grown in the light. Chlorophyll measurements taken from fruits grown under normal light showed a uniform quantity per fruit but a decreasing % as the fruits increased in age from 3 to 5 weeks after fruit set.

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