Polyhouse Breeding Of Tomato

By Agropedia on 11 May 2016 | read

Dr.D.K.Singh and Dr. Deepali Tewari, GBPUAT


Tomato, universally treated as "protective food" is being extensively grown as annual plant all over the world. In India, tomato has wider coverage in comparison to other vegetables. The leading tomato growing states are Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. The area and production of tomato in our country was about 5.72 Lakh hectares and 102.60 Lakh tones respectively in 2007-08 (Source: NHB Database) and the development of high yielding varieties/ hybrids is making significant progress.

Tomato is a very good source of income to small and marginal farmers and contributes to the nutrition of the consumers. It is a rich source of vitamins and organic acids(healthy acids).

Tomato is a warm season crop and thrives in temperatures between 1-300C and is neither tolerant to frost, nor to waterlogged conditions. It is well fitted in different cropping systems which include cereals, grains, pulses and oilseeds.

Breeding tomato suitable for polyhouse cultivation

The introduction of protected cultivation technology in india has a time lag in relation to many countries. China has started protected cultivation technology almost at same time when India made beginning. But now China, Japan and USA are the leading countries having large area under polyhouse for horticultural crops in the world and also have developed a number of tomato varieties through ployhouse breeding.

In india the area under green/polyhouse cultivation crop is 1000 hectares (Chandra 2001), in which is mainly in Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir. The total area under polyhouse in Uttarakhand is 60-70 hectares (Directorate of Horticulture, Govt. of Uttarakhand 2004). There appears ample scope for increasing area under low cost polyhouse in many folds in periurban areas of the Uttarakhand for production of high value vegetables during off season for taking advantage of high price of the available market in near by cities.

Tomato is high value vegetable crop for off season and main season production under polyhouses/greenhouses. The differences are observed in production and productivity in polyhouse bred tomato (350-450 tonnes/ ha) and field bred tomato (150-200 tonnes) under polyhouse condition (Kedar, 2005). The average productivity of open field bred variety in field condition is 250 q/ha whereas under polyhouse condition is about 800q/ha (AICVIP Annual Report 2002-2004.)The average production of polyhouse bred Israeli tomato varieties under polyhouse condition at Delhi is about 2,200q/ha.The  seed cost of such tomato varieties is very high, i.e. between 1.50 and 2.00 Lakh/ Kg and grower also faces the problem of importing the seed every time. These two factors ultimately affect the cost: benefit ratio and the interest of tomato polyhouse growers.

Considering the importance and high seed cost of Israeli polyhouse bred tomato variety, a project was initiated for the first time in India by us (Department of vegetable Science, G.B.P.U.A&T., Pantnagar) on breeding of polyhouse tomato during 2002. By adopting appropriate selection methods and hybrid breeding procedure one pure line (PTP-1) and one hybrid (PTPH-1) have been developed. The yield potential of this newely developed pure line is about 1,700 q/ha and that of F1 hybrid 1,800 q/ha.

Important attributes of Polyhouse bred Tomato

In India polyhouse tomato breeding was started to develop the purelines (PTP 1, PTP 2, PTP 3 and PTP 4) and F1 hybrid (PTPH 1) having following traits:

1. Large fruit size (150-200g)

2. Thick pericarp (0.8-1cm)

3. 4-5 fruits per cluster

4. Long fruiting period (8-9 months)

5. Long plant height (20-25 feets)

6. Potato leaf type

7. Ability to set fruits in wide temperature range (15-450C)

8. Resistant to fruit and shoot borer

9. Long storage life under room temperature


1. Indeterminate, single stemmed plants

2. Medium sized bright colored fruits

3. Short internode

4. More number of fruits per plant

5. High TSS and acidity

6. Thermo-insensitivity

7. Resistance to whitefly and other important diseases and insect-pesto


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