Effect of saline conditions on the maturation process of Clementine Clemenules fruits on two different rootstocks

J. M. Navarro, A. Gomez-Gomez, J. G. Perez-Perez, P. Botia


The production of mandarins is important in the Mediterranean area, where the continued use of saline water reduces fruit yield and modifies fruit quality. Grafted trees of Clemenules mandarin scion on Carrizo citrange and Cleopatra mandarin rootstocks, two of the most common citrus rootstocks employed in this area, were irrigated with two saline treatments (control and 30 mM NaCl). The fruit quality was studied through the last two months before the fruit harvest. Salinity reduced both the fruit number and the mean fruit weight on Carrizo trees whereas no fruit weight reduction was observed on Cleopatra. The decrease of fruit weight on Carrizo trees is probably due to the lower water content and consequently the lower juice percentage. Although the saline treatment produced significant differences in some fruit quality variables (shape and thickness indices) throughout the maturation process, they were minimal at the harvest time. Total soluble solids (TSS) were significantly higher in fruits from the saline treatments, probably due to a passive dehydration. It is also possible thatde novo synthesis of sugars occurred, since fruits from Cleopatra trees receiving the saline treatment had similar water contents but higher TSS than control fruits. The external fruit colour indicated that the saline treatment accelerated the maturation process; however, the maturity index showed that the high acidity of these fruits delayed the internal maturation with respect to the control fruits.


acidity; Carrizo citrange; Cleopatra mandarin; fruit colour; maturity index; shape index; total soluble solids

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/201008S2-1344