EFFECT OF DIFFERENT PRUNING INTENSITIES ON YIELD AND FRUIT QUALITY OF BLUEBERRY (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cv. BRIGITTA
Pablo Muñoz-Vega1*, Humberto Serri1, María Dolores Lopéz1, Manuel Faundez1, y Pia Palma1
This research was carried out in a blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) orchard cv. Brigitta (fourth harvest) under organic management located in the Province of Ñuble (Chillán, Chile). The objective of this work was to determine the effect of different pruning intensities on yield and fruit quality. The experiment was conducted using a randomized complete block design with four treatments and five replications. Parameters related to plant growth (number of buds, flowers and fruits), fruit quality (equatorial and polar diameter, average fruit weight, number of seeds, soluble solids, pH and titratable acidity), and production were evaluated. The results showed that different pruning intensities resulted in significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in yield and fruit quality. The highest yields were obtained in plants with less severe pruning, but the fruit presented a decrease in equatorial diameter, polar diameter and weight, as well as fewer seeds, lower levels of soluble solids and higher acidity. Fruit pH showed no significant differences (P > 0.05) between the treatments. As cv. Brigitta presents a high rate of floral abortion, pruning should not be as severe as in other varieties, keeping an additional 30-40% of fruit load compared to normal pruning in other varieties.
Key words: Blueberries, Vaccinium corymbosum, pruning, fruit quality.
1 Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Agronomía, Avenida Vicente Méndez 595, Chillán, Chile.
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