A field experiment was conducted during 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 to study the effect of foliar sprays of ethrel or ethephon (2- chloroethyl phosphonic acid) on pollen sterility and yield parameters in Capsicum annuum var. Pusa jwala. Effect of treatments was also studied in F1 hybrids raised from treated male sterile plants crossed with the control plants. Plants sprayed with 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3% (v/v) ethrel exhibited 93.1-100% pollen sterility. This was associated with significant reduction in yield parameters (number of flowers, fruits/plant, fruit size, number of seeds/fruit and total yield/plant). However, the plants sprayed only once with 0.1% ethrel at pre-meiotic stage showed 93.1% pollen sterility without any significant reduction in yield parameter. The F1 hybrids obtained by crossing the 100% male sterile treated plants with the pollen of untreated (control) plants exhibited only insignificant reduction in the number of flowers/ plant, fruits/plant, fruit size, number of seeds/fruit and total yield/plant. However, these parameters in F1 hybrids were significantly higher over the treated plants.
Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum (L) Karsten) is an important crop cultivated in Hungary. Ethrel has been used to advance maturity and promote uniform ripening of processing tomato since 25-30 years in Hungary. The aims of the present study were 1) to evaluate the effects of two different ethrel concentrations on ripening rate, 2) to investigate lycopene content of different maturity stages, 3) to test the effect of ethrel on lycopene content. It is important to note that the experimental year (in July and August) was very rainy and cool. Ethrel was applied at two rates: 1500 and 3000 ppm. The results clearly indicate that Ethrel can be a useful and effective tool of maturity-enhancement, under present circumstances. Ripening concentration increased significantly by Ethrel. In spite of this, Ethrel treatments did not affect lycopene content of examined varieties significantly. The quality of tomato products are characterised by their lycopene content. Colour is highly important quality factor of food products. The range in lycopene contents from all samples evaluated was 48.7 to 113.0 mg kg-1 fresh weight. Also correlations between lycopene content and colour (a*/b*, and chroma) were investigated also.