African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Using deficit irrigation approach for evaluating the effects of water restriction on field grown tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Lennox Alexander Gladden1, Yu-Min Wang2*, Ching-Hsiang Hsieh3 and I. Tsou2
1Department of Tropical of Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan. 2Department of Civil Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan. 3Department of Plant Industry, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 August 2011
  •  Published: 30 April 2012


This study examined the effects of different irrigation regimes on the growth and development of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Taoyuan ASVEG No.20) irrigated under a drip irrigation system. The experiment imposed water deficit at the initial (Trt4); developmental (Trt3); mid-season (Trt2); and the late stage of growth (Trt1) comparing the stages of growth to the fully irrigated control (Control), to indicate the stage most susceptible to water stress. The results showed that plant growth, fruit production and quality were significantly affected under different water applications. The treatments (Trts3 and 4) which underwent water deficit earlier in their growth stage showed a significant reduction in leaf chlorophyll content and plant height as compared to the other treatments. The effect on fruit production and quality as a consequence of a water deficit was apparent among all treatments. The mean number of fully formed fruits on Trts1, 2, 3 and 4 was 5.8, 7.7, 6.8 and 7.5 respectively. All of which were significantly lower than average of 11.6 fully formed fruits found on the Control. The application of the deficit irrigation approach in this study was both useful and appropriate in assessing the response of L. esculentum Mill under varying soil moisture.


Key words: Chlorophyll, deficit irrigation, drip irrigation, tomato, growth stage, water restriction.