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Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura
On-line version ISSN 1806-9967
SANTOS, Carlos Eduardo Magalhães dos et al. Thinning fruit in 'Bengal' litchi. Rev. Bras. Frutic. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.2, pp. 588-592. ISSN 1806-9967. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-29452009000200038.
Original from the southeast of China, the litchi has been presenting significant growth in the areas cultivated in the last years due to the excellent flavor and aroma of the fruits. However, production alternations, associated to the low setting of fruits, are important problems of the culture. The thinning of fruits can contribute to the reduction of the production alternation and increase both the percentile of marketable fruits and the ones of better quality by the gains in relation to size. It was aimed at this work to evaluate the effect of the thinning of fruits in litchi 'Bengal' for the cultivation conditions in Viçosa, Minas Gerais, and Brazil. The experiment was designed in complete randomized blocks, with 5 treatments and 7 repetitions, and each plant was a repetition. The treatments consisted of different intensities of thinning acted by the number of fruits left in the panicles of the terminal twigs, as T1: 3 fruit/twigs; T2: 6 fruit/twigs; T3: 9 fruit/twigs; T4: 12 fruit/twigs; T5: not thinning (controls). It was analyzed the longitudinal and the equatorial length of the fruits (cm), the fruit mass (g); the mass of the skin, pulp and seed (g); total soluble solids content (ºBrix); total titratable acidity (% malic acid); the percentage of dry matter of the pulp, skin and seed (%) and the percentage of natural fall (%). Effect of the thinnig was only observed for the variable total soluble solid contents, percentage of natural fall and mass of dry matter of the skin, and it was impossible to justify the thinning in litchi fruits.
Keywords : Litchi chinensis Sonn.; fruit; thinning.