Growth, development and quality of Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima fruits under two environmental tropical conditions


The curuba (Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima) is an important Andean fruit in bioprospecting industries because of its pleasant taste and aroma, antioxidant potential and sedative action. The objective of this study was to evaluate the development of curuba plants and the physicochemical characteristics of fruits under two environmental tropical altitudinal conditions. Crops were established in a low zone (2,006 m.a.s.l.) and a high zone (2,498 m.a.s.l.) in the municipality of Pasca (Cundinamarca, Colombia). Phenological monitoring was carried out in the principal growth stages. The weight, length, diameter, color, firmness, pH, total soluble solids, total titratable acidity and organic acid content were measured in the fruits. Climatic parameters were monitored during the crop cycle, and base temperatures and thermal times were estimated. The temperature and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were the climatic factors that had the greatest effect on plant development. The base temperatures of growth of the primary branches, floral buds and fruits were 4.3°C, 3.1°C and 0.01°C, respectively. In the lower zone, the plants accumulated more growing degree days than in the upper zone. The fruits in the upper zone presented a higher weight, total titratable acidity and ascorbic acid content. The plants presented a marked response to the differential agroecological conditions of the two sites.