The Effects of Leaf Colour at Fruit Harvest and Fruit after-Ripening Duration on (Cucumeropsis mannii Naudin.) Seed Quality.

Kortse, P. Aloho, Oladiran, A. Johnson


A study of the after-ripening behavior of ‘egusi-itoo’ melon (Cucumeropsis mannii Naudin.) fruits was undertaken at the research farm of the University of Agriculture Makurdi in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to monitor its effects on seed quality. Some fruits were harvested when leaves started turning yellow (LTY) while others were harvested when all leaves were dried (ALD). The fruits harvested at the two stages were either processed immediately or were processed after 10 or 20 days of after-ripening. Results revealed that fruits from plants harvested when all plant leaves were dry (ALD) contained significantly more seeds and produced higher seed yield. After-ripening of fruits for 10 and 20 days significantly improved seed germination in 2006 and 2007.  The best seed longevity was obtained from ALD fruits that were after-ripened for 20 days while the poorest result was from the non-after-ripened LTY fruits. It was therefore concluded that Cucumeropsis mannii fruits should be harvested when all leaves are dry. For higher seed quality still, harvested fruits should be stored to after-ripen for about 10 - 20 days before seed extraction process is initiated.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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