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The present study investigated the differences in fruit physical and chemical quality characteristics of two popular local pomegranate cultivars, namely Helow and Malasi, as influenced by the altitudinal microclimates. Three sites of varying altitudes were selected for this study at Al-Hajar Mountains in northern Oman that included, high (2019 m, Saiq), mid (1876 m, Sograh) and low altitudes (1540 m, Wakan). The results showed that at lower altitudes of Wakan, the Malasi cultivar had better color attributes than Helow cultivar. Malasi also had more lightness (L), yellowness (b) and color intensity (chroma) but less greenness (a), while in mid-altitude, Helow had better color compared with Malasi cultivar. Furthermore, Helow colors was developed as evidenced in terms of brightness, skin and arils redness at higher altitude compared to the two lower altitude sites. Physical fruit qualities were also investigated and the results indicated that in most measured parameters, the Malasi fruit quality was better in both locations (Sograh and Wakan) than Helow cultivar, while Helow cultivar had superior fruit quality at higher elevation in Saiq. Additionally, Malasi had higher juice volume (JV), total soluble solid (TSS) and titratable acidity (TA) than Helow in Wakan. Helow fruits in Saiq showed better performance and higher results for juice volume (JV), total soluble solid (TSS) and maturity index (MI) as followed by those in Sograh and Wakan. Our study showed that the fruit physical and chemical quality attributes of local pomegranate cultivars are strongly influenced by growing location and altitude.
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