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Effects of crop load and time of thinning on the incidence of split pits, fruit yield, fruit quality, and leaf mineral contents in ‘Andross’ peach

Drogoudi, P. D., Tsipouridis, C. G., Pantelidis, G.
Journal of horticultural science & biotechnology 2009 v.84 no.5 pp. 505-509
Prunus persica, antioxidants, biotechnology, canning, color, copper, cultivars, fruit quality, fruit yield, fruits, horticulture, iron, leaves, manganese, mineral content, peaches, ripening, tissues, trees
The effects of light, moderate, or heavy thinning (5, 10, or 20 cm between fruit, respectively), conducted before (7 d or 15 d), during, or after (7 d or 15 d) pit hardening (PH), on the incidence of split pits, fruit yield, fruit quality characteristics, and leaf mineral contents, were studied in the canning peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch.) cultivar ‘Andross’ over two growing seasons.The percentage of fruit with split pits increased by 58.2% in heavily-thinned trees compared with moderately- or lightly-thinned trees, and by 22.9% for the earliest time of thinning (15 d before PH) compared with thinning during, or after PH. Fruit fresh weight (FW) was greater in moderately- and heavily-thinned trees compared with lightly-thinned trees, but yields were similar among the different crop-load treatments.The latest time of thinning (15 d after PH) also had a negative impact on yield at first harvest and on total yield, fruit FW, and delayed fruit ripening compared to thinning during, and 15 d before PH. Total anti-oxidant capacities and phenolic contents were usually greater in fruit from heavily-thinned compared with lightly- or moderately-thinned trees only when thinning was conducted during, or 15 d after PH. Moreover, anti-oxidant levels were highest in fruit from the earliest-thinned trees.There was no significant effect of crop load, or of time of thinning application treatment on fruit colour, or on the K, P, Fe, Mn, and Cu contents of leaf tissues. In conclusion, light or moderate thinning during PH resulted in minimal split pits during processing, and in optimal yields and fruit quality characteristics in the canning peach cultivar ‘Andross’.