Keywords: Development, yield, fruit quality, fruit color, pepper, greenhouse.
The research was carried out under a greenhouse in Chapingo, State of Mexico, during 2007. Phenological behavior and fruit yield of thirteen bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) hybrids grown hydroponically were assessed. The hybrids Cyrus, Conan, Gandal, Grandísimo, Itzel, Orión, Triple 4 and Triple Star produce red fruits; Diego, Cadia, Giacomo and Moonset have yellow fruits, and Magno orange ones. A randomized complete block design with three replications was used, and the experimental unit consisted of six plants (1 m2). Phenolo¬gical and morphological variables were recorded, plus fruit yield and its components. The hybrid Giacomo was early, and its cycle, from transplant to the beginning of the harvest, lasted 91 days, while Grandísimo was a late hybrid, requiring 117 days to fulfill its life cycle. On average, seedling emergence occurred 16 days after sowing (das) for all hybrids evaluated, while the first, second and third true leaves appeared at 37, 47 and 61 das, respectively, and the first, second, third and fourth bifurcations occurred at 10, 17, 25 and 30 days after transplanting (dat), respectively. Phenological phases such as flowering, fruiting, fruit color change and beginning of harvest occurred at 33, 44, 93 and 102 dat, in each case. The Orión hybrid had the best fruit quality, averaging 178.7 g in weight, 9.2 cm in width and 7 cm in length, achieving the standard of top-quality fruits in the Mexican market. In addition, Orión had the greatest yield per plant (1.9 kg) and per area (11.5 kg.m-2); the Magno hybrid showed the lowest yield (5.7 kg.m-2).