Effect of season on growth, fruit yield and nutrient profile of two landraces of Trichosanthes cucumerina L.
Studies were conducted in the early season of 2002 and late season of 2003 at the Teaching and Research Farm, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria to determine the effects of season on growth, fruit yield and nutrient profile of two landraces (Variant I and II) of snake tomato (Trichosanthes cucumerina L.). Statistical analysis (P0.05) showed that the early season crop had significantly higher number of leaves, vine length, number of marketable fruits and fruit yield compared to the late season crop while the late season crop recorded significantly higher number of aborted flowers and cull fruits. Crop yield during the early season averaged 22.2 tons ha-1 while it was 13.3 tons ha-1 during the late
season. The variants had no effect on fruit yield, number of marketable fruits, cull fruits and number of flowers aborted. The early season crop had significantly higher ascorbic acid composition (25.2 mg/100g) than the late season crop (18.0 mg/100 g) while the late season crop had significantly higher ether extract (0.94 g/100 g), crude fiber (3.40 g/100 g) and total sugars (0.95 g/100 g) compared to the early season crop which had 0.64, 1.60 and 0.50 g/100 g, of ether extract, crude fiber and total sugars,
respectively. Variant I had significantly higher ether extract content (0.97 g/100 g) than Variant II (0.64g/100 g) while Variant II had significantly higher total sugar (0.98 g/100 g) compared to Variant I (0.60g/100 g). The anti-nutritional oxalate and crude protein compositions were neither affected by variant nor season nor their interaction.