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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 201: Manipulation of Ethylene Responses in Horticulture, XXII IHC

FIELD APPLICATIONS OF ETHEPHON FOR HYBRID AND OPEN-POLLINATED SQUASH (CUCURBITA SPP) SEED PRODUCTION

Author:   M. Murray
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1987.201.15
Abstract:
Single and multiple applications of 600 ppm ethephon (2-chloroethyl-phosphonic acid) were made to cucurbita pepo cv. 'black beauty' and cucurbita moschata cv. 'Walthum butternut' at the 3rd, 5th or 7th true leaf stage. Parameters measured included plant growth, occurrence of staminate or pistillate flowers, number of fruits per plant, fruit weight, seed weight, seed germination percentage, and clean seed yield, Plant growth of both test cultivars was reduced by the application of ethephon. Multiple applications to 'black beauty' caused complete suppression of open staminate flowers through the seventh week following plant emergence. Applications at the 5th or the 5th plus 7th leaf stages caused the greatest ratios of pistillate to staminate flowers in 'Walthum butternut'. The use of ethephon caused a greater number of fruit to be produced per plant for both cultivars. Individual fruit weight was reduced by multiple or late applications to both cultivars. Seed weight and germination were not affected by ethephon applications. Seed yields of 'black beauty' were increased by as much as 21% by the use of ethephon, while seed yields for 'Walthum butternut' were decreased with the use of ethephon. The results obtained varied considerably between 'black beauty' (determinate plant) and 'Walthum butternut' (indeterminate plant).

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