Gibberellic acid (GA3) and the ripening of 'Ponkan' and 'Montenegrina' mandarin fruits

In the North region of the Paraná State, Brazil, 'Ponkan' (Citrus reticulata) and 'Montenegrina' (Citrus deliciosa) mandarins are usually harvested in May and July, respectively. Application of giberelic acid (GA3) could extend the ripening period, allowing farmers to program harvest to obtain better prices for the fruits. In this work, the effect of GA3 on the maturation of fruits of both species of mandarins, was studied during 1996 and 1997. GA3 was applied at rates between 20 and 60 mg L-1, at the begining of fruit colour change or when the orange colour was more advanced. Every 21 days, the ripening of fruits was visually evaluated and 6 fruits per plot were sampled for analysis of brix and acidity. The results showed that GA3 seems to be more efficient when applied at the begining of fruit colour change, to keep them greenish for a longer time. For both species, there were no differences for the concentrations of the product, which extended the harvest for approximately 3 weeks. In both mandarin species, GA3 had effect only on peel appearance, with no underisable influence on juice quality.

gibberellic acid; ripening; 'Montenegrina' mandarin; 'Ponkan' mandarin

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