AbstractA study was conducted to determine the effect of zone and climate on yields, ripening characteristics and quality of Montecristo bananas. Experimental plots were established at the Fortuna Substation on the southern coast of Puerto Rico at sea level, and the Adjuntas Substation located in the humid mountainous area at an elevation of 1,800 feet. In plots planted monthly throughout the year, the interval from planting to flowering ranged at the Adjuntas Substation from 371 to 448 days and from 319 to 388 days at the Fortuna Substation. At Fortuna, the length of the flowering period ranged from 120 to 147 days, while at Adjuntas it ranged from 107 to 200 days. A direct relationship was observed at Adjuntas between the length of the flowering period and time of planting. The flowering pattern of the combined monthly plots was different for the two zones. Two flowering cycles were observed at Adjuntas, with the highest percentage of plants flowering from June to December. Although three flowering cycles were observed at Fortuna, the distribution was similar to a normal frequency distribution. Bunch development was much slower at Adjuntas than at Fortuna. The age for harvesting at a given stage of development varied with the time of flowering, but this relationship was more marked at Adjuntas than at Fortuna. The fruit harvested at Adjuntas was quite different in characteristics from the fruit harvested at Fortuna. The bunches were heavier and the fruit weighed more. The bunches also had more hands and more fruit than those harvested at Fortuna. At Adjuntas, the weight of the bunch remained fairly constant throughout the year, while at Adjuntas the weight of the bunch varied with the month of flowering. The weight of the fingers at both locations varied with the time of flowering while the number of fruit per bunch at Fortuna varied only slightly throughout the year. Because the seed material used in these studies was obtained from two farms in the Adjuntas region, another set of experiments was conducted to study the behavior of the Montecristo bananas produced from seed from the experimental plots from each Substation when planted on the other. The results from these experiment showed that the seed material used in our previous studies were of uniform character and that differences observed in flowering patterns, yields, fruit quality and other characteristics were due to the effect of ecological conditions and not to clonal variation. The fruit from both locations when processed into purees gave products of good quality. Fruit from Adjuntas produced purees of a more pronounced yellow color and the flavor was better than fruit from Fortuna. From the standpoint of fresh fruit quality, however, the fruit from Fortuna was better than the fruit from Adjuntas. The fruit from Fortuna had better ripening characteristics, ripening more evenly and with a more attractive yellow color, than the fruit from Adjuntas.
Download data is not yet available.