MATURATION STAGES OF FRUITS AND PHYSIOLOGICAL SEED QUALITY OF Physalis ixocarpa BROT. EX HORMEN
ABSTRACT Physalis is represented by species that produce fruits with relevant potential for national and international marketing. The species are normally grown from seeds, so maturation studies are important to assist the point of harvest, as well as seeds with a high physiological potential, since the fruits remain enclosed within a cup throughout their development. Despite the nutraceutical importance of fruits and medicinal potential of many species of Physalisinformation on the physiological seeds quality are scarce. This study aimed to monitor the physical and physiological changes of maturation and the viability of seeds during fruit development stages. The fruits of P. ixocarpa were collected in 15, 25, 35, 45, 55 days after anthesis (DAA). Length, diameter, fresh weight, skin and cup coloring characterization, TSS content, number and weight of seeds per fruit were obtained at each development stage. We also evaluated and correlated the coloring and pigment content of the cup (chlorophyll a and b). Water content, dry matter weight and germination rate were measured from fresh and dry seeds (room conditions, 72 hours). The main physical and physiological changes during maturation occurred within 35 DAA. The maximum physiological seeds quality was achieved within 45 DAA when the cup is completely or partially broken with coloring between yellowish-green and light-yellowish-brown and the ripe fruit in dark-green.