Morphological Survey of the Fruits of the Cultivated (Solanum lycopersicum Linn.) and Wild (Solanum pimpinellifolium Miller) Tomatoes in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
The last few years have recorded an increase in the forms of the cultivated tomato fruits available in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. The morphological survey of the fruits of the cultivated garden tomato Solanum lycopersicum Linn. and its wild relative, Solanum pimpinellifolium Miller was carried out with the aim of documenting the various forms available on the basis of their different shapes and sizes. The qualitative morphological characters observed were, fruit colour and shape while the quantitative data taken were, the number of ribs present on the fruits, length and diameter of fruits. In this study, thirty-one (31) fruit forms were reported for the cultivated species based on the differences in shapes, presence or absence of ribs on fruits, number of ribs and colour of fruits. The shapes observed in Solanum lycopersicum were ellipsoid, spheroid, obovate, oblate, rhomboidal, elongate and clavate while the shape for Solanum pimpinellifolium was consistently round. The colours observed for Solanum lycopersicum were red, red with yellow patches, and yellowish-red while colour in S. pimpinellifolium was consistently red. Number of ribs on the fruits of the cultivated species ranged from 0–12 while rib was absent in the wild species. Noteworthy, were the fruit forms with beak-like protrusions at the apices of the cultivated species. The length-to-diameter ratio of fruits of the cultivated species was a reliable parameter for differentiating the elongated fruit forms from the other forms in the cultivated species.
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