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Effect of planting density on fruit size, light-interception and photosynthetic activity of vertically trained watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. et Nakai) plants


Effect of planting density on fruit size, light-interception and photosynthetic activity of vertically trained watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. et Nakai) plants



Journal of the Japanese Society for Horticultural Science 72(6): 497-503



ISSN/ISBN: 1882-3351

The effect of planting density on fruit size of vertically trained watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. et Nakai) plants was investigated with regard to light-interception characteristics and photosynthetic production. Watermelon plants, grafted on bottle gourd, were grown in a glasshouse at different planting densities. Two vines per plant were allowed to grow and trained vertically. One hand-pollinated fruit per plant was set around the 15th, node on either vine. The solar radiation and photosynthetic rate of individual leaves during fruit development period were determined by an integrated solarimeter film and a portable photosynthesis system, respectively. Fruit size was significantly decreased as the planting density increased, whereas soluble solids content of the fruits was affected little. The solar radiation and the photosynthetic rate of the individual leaves gradually decreased as the leaf position became lower at all planting densities on account of shading; those at lower leaves tended to decrease as the planting density increased. Fruit size was closely related to both the total solar radiation and the photosynthetic production per plant. In conclusion, the difference in fruit size among the planting densities is attributed to the photosynthetic productivity of the whole plant, which is mainly a function of the total solar radiation. This paper appears to be the first trial relating the influence of light interception and photosynthetic rates in high density plantings of vertically trained watermelon plants on fruit size.

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Accession: 070559864

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