Fruit yield and quality of ridge gourd (Luffa Acutangula (l) Roxb) as influenced by plant density and varietal differences as ascertained by Isozyme analysis
Luffa acutangula is a' potentially important export crop for Kenya. Little is known of its optimal production practices, genetics or fruit quality. Three studies were conducted at the Institutes for Applied Research of Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel between the months of October 1991 and September 1992. The first study was conducted in a greenhouse during winter and summer seasons with the objective of determining differences in flowering, fruiting and fruit quality characteristics of six cultivars of Luffa acutangula.. The· experimental design was Randomized complete block with 4 replicates. Results showed that both flowering and fruiting were enhanced during long days experienced in the summer season. Significant differences between cultivars were found in flowering, fruiting and fruit quality characteristics. Yields ranged between 0.338 to 0.917 kg/plant in winter and 2.488 to 2.912 kg/plant in summer. Fruits grown in winter were found to have significant differences in electrical conductivity, total soluble solids and reducing sugars while those grown in summer showed significant differences in pH and reducing sugars. A field study was conducted during the summer season with the objective of understanding the influence of plant density on the yield and fruit quality of. L.acutangula.. The experimental design was Randomized complete block. Three planting densities ( 5,000 , 10,000 and 15,000 plants/ha) and three cultivars ("Kenya", "DDR" and "67871 ") were studied.