Heritability Studies of Fruit Related Traits in Solanum Lycopersicum L. Germplasm

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is relatively a new addition to the world food crops, used in various forms both fresh and processed. Although tomato does not rank high in terms of caloric value, by virtue of volume consumed in its various forms such as cooked, salad, soup, preserves, pickles, ketchup sauces and many other products, it contributes substantially to dietary intake of vitamin A, B, C and essential minerals (Tigchelaar, 1986). Tomato being a tender perennial crop, it is susceptible to both frost as well as high temperature, and thus it is grown under varying environmental conditions. Since 1961, tomato production in the world has increased 291%, and during the year 2002 production reached 108 million metric tons. The share of Pakistan during 2005-06 in tomato production was 4965.35 tones, fresh or chilled worth US$ 0.829 million (Anonymous, 2006).

In Pakistan, very little efforts have been made for improving vegetable crops including tomato, because of their secondary importance in the crop husbandry (Shokat et al., 2011). Consequently, very few local varieties of tomato are available for cultivation and most of them are selections from the introduced germplasm. Furthermore, the available varieties are poor in quality traits, and therefore, are unable to get consumer’s attraction. In Pakistan tomato is grown on an area of 44460 hectare with annual production of 491370 tones (Anonymous, 2011). Amongst the several reasons of low production of tomato the two reasons appears to be reasonable, firstly locally developed varieties are not available and secondly the non-existence of local tomato seed industry. Almost the total seed supply of tomato requirement is fulfilled through import of hybrid seed, and during 2005-06 Pakistan imported 72.75 tones of tomato seeds worth 2.09 million US$ (Anonymous, 2006) while it was increased significantly to US$ 5.1 million in 2009 (Anonymous, 2011).

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(Author: Sajid Shokat, Faqir Muhammad Azhar, Qumer Iqbal, Ghulam Nabi, Muhammad Muzaffar Raza, Muhammad Saleem

Published by Macrothink Institute)