Botanical name: Solanum melongena
Chromosome No.: 2n = 24
Other names: Eggplant, Aubergine
- Male sterility present in brinjal.
- Anthocyanin pigment is present in brinjal.
- Brinjal is a day-neutral plant.
- Solasodine toxic substance present in brinjal.
- 2nd rank in brinjal production after China.
- West Bengal ranks 1st in production followed by Orissa and Bihar.
- Dry fruit contains the goitrogenic principle.
- White brinjal is preferred by diabetic patients.
- Hybrid varieties cover 14% area.
- Heterostyly is common in brinjal.
- Maximum fruit setting in ‘Long styled flowers’ (70-80%)
- There is no fruit setting in ‘pseudo-short’ and ‘short-styled flowers’.
- Dark purple brinjal has more vitamin-C then the white skin.
Area and production
In India, it is well distributed in Orissa, Bihar, Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and UP. Brinjal covers 8.14% of the total vegetable area and produces 9 percent of the total production.
Table: Area, production, and productivity of brinjal in India
Source: NHB Database 2018
Economic importance and uses
- It is an annual crop cultivated all over India. The fruits are available practically throughout the year. Brinjal fruits are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins, particularly the ‘B’ group. Analysis of 100 g of edible fruit contains 91.5g of water, 6.4 g of Carbohydrates, 1.3g of Protein, 0.3g of fat, and 0.5g of mineral matter. Its green leaves are the main source of vitamin C (38-104.7mg/100g).
- Dark purple brinjal has more vitamin C than those with white skin. Bitterness in brinjal is due to the presence of glycoalkaloids. Generally, a high amount of glycoalkaloids (20mg/100g) produces a bitter taste and off flavour.
- Brinjal is reported to stimulate the intrahepatic metabolism of blood cholesterol. Leaf and fruit, fresh or dry produce had marked drops in blood cholesterol levels.
- Brinjal has got much potential as raw material in pickle making and dehydration industries. It is supposed to contain certain medicinal properties and white brinjal is said to be good for diabetic patients. The fruits are employed as a cure for toothache. It is also an excellent remedy for those who suffering from liver complaints.
Popular varieties and hybrids
In brinjal a large variation in plant types, fruit colour, shape, and size are available. Two main types namely round and long are cultivated throughout India. The following are important cultivars grown in India.
1. Long varieties
Pusa Purple Long, Pusa Purple Cluster, Pusa Kranti, Krishnanagar Green long, Arka Sheel, Arka Kusumakar, Arka Anand, Arka Keshav (BWR-21), Arka Navneeth, Arka Neelkanth (BWR-54) Arka Nidhi (BWR-12), Arka Shirish (IIHR 194-1), H -4, Punjab Barsati, Pant Smart, Azad Kranti
2. Round varieties
Pant Rituraj, Pusa Purple Round, Manjri, Krishnanagar Purple Round, Punjab Bahar
Pusa Purple Long
Pusa Purple Cluster
Pusa Purple Round
Arka Shirish (green)
Pusa Anmol: Pusa Purple Long X Hyderpur at IARI.
Azad hybrid: Azad B1 X Kalyanpur-3.
Hisar Shyamal (H-8): Aushey X BR 112
Pant Rituraj: T-3 X PPC
Pusa Anupam: Pusa Kranti X PPC
Punajb Barsati: PPC X H-4
Pusa Uttam: GR X Rituraj
Pusa Bindu: GR X Rituraj
Arka Navneet: IIHR221 X Supreme
Pusa Kranti: (Pusa Purple Long X Hyderpur) X WG (Wynad Gaint).
Pusa Bhairav: PPL X 11a-12-2-1 Phomopsis blight resistant
Pant Samrat: Phomopsis blight and Bacterial Wilt Resistant.
Florida Market: Phomopsis blight resistant
Annamalai: Resistant to Aphid
New Variety: Pusa Ankur
Brinjal is susceptible to severe frost. A long and warm growing season with a temperature range of 21-270C is most favourable for its successful production. Climatic conditions especially low temperature during the cool season cause abnormal development of the ovary (Splitting) in flower buds which then differentiate and develop into deformed fruits during that season. Late cultivars, however, withstand mild frost and continue to bear some fruits. The brinjal grown in the warm season shows luxurious growth and starts bearing from the initial flowers, while in the cool season, its growth is poor and slow, and fruit size, quality, and production are adversely affected.
The brinjal can be grown practically on all soils from light sandy to heavy clay loam soils are good for an early crop, while clay loam and silt loam are well suited for higher yield. Generally, silt loam and clay loam soils are preferred for brinjal cultivation. The soil should be deep, fertile, and well-drained. The soil pH should not be more than 5.5 to 6.0 for better growth and development.
The sowing and transplanting time varies according to the agro-climatic condition of the region. Under North India, two sowings are normally suitable for sowing.
- June-July for autumn- winter crop
- November for the spring-summer crop.
Sowing time in other parts of the country is from June-September and again in December-January.
In hilly regions sowing of seed is done from March- April and seedlings are transplanted in May.
Seed Rate and Seed Treatment:
About 250-375 g of seed is sufficient to cover one hectare of land with 30,000-45,000 seedlings. To avoid fungal diseases, the seeds should be treated with captan or thiram at the rate of 2g/kg of seed.
Raised beds should be prepared (7.5×1.2×10-15cm) and seeds are sown in rows 7.5 to 10cm apart. The beds are prepared well and leveled and one centimetre-thick layer of farm yard manure is applied and mixed properly. The seeds should be covered properly by a mixture of FYM and soil. As soon as the sowing is completed the bed should be covered with a thin layer of dry grass and kept moist till the seeds germinate. For safeguarding, the seedlings should also be sprayed with mancozeb at a concentration of 2g/litre. The seedlings are ready for transplanting in about 4-5 weeks.
Preparation of land
Soil is prepared to fine tilth by giving 4-5 ploughings. Well, rotten organic manure (25t/ha) is incorporated into the soil well before the final preparation.
Spacing and transplanting
The planting distance depends on the fertility status of the soil, growing season, and cultivar. Three spacings are generally recommended i.e. 60×45, 75×60cm, and 75×75 cm depending upon the size and spread of the plant besides the duration of the bearing period.
Highly vigorous bushy and late-bearing cultivars are given wider spacing as compared to dwarf upright and early types. Stocky, healthy seedlings which are free of disease and shoot and fruit borer infestation and have attained a height of 10-12cm with 3-4 leaves are to be selected and transplanted. Light irrigation should be given immediately after transplanting.
It is a heavy feeder of nutrients and requires more nutrients for better yield and quality. As already mentioned, 25 tonnes of FYM should be added 25 to 30 days before transplanting. NPK application is done in the form of inorganic fertilizers. Apply 25% of nitrogen as in the form of top dressing 6 weeks after transplanting and the remaining 25% N should be added to soil 10 weeks after transplanting.
- Table 1. Recommendations of NPK levels in some states of India
The deficiency of micronutrients in brinjal has not been noticed in the field. However, Cu increased the number of flowers and fruits, Zn improved the weight of fruits and Mn showed a similar but less pronounced effect on flowering and fruiting.
It requires several irrigations for successful cultivation. Timely irrigation is essential for fruit set and its development. In Plains irrigation should be applied every 3rd and 4th day during hot weather and every 10 -14 days during winter. Drip irrigation is beneficial for decreasing water use and weed control.
The weed should be controlled as soon as they are seen. Shallow inter-cultivation is given to remove the weeds. Three to four hoeing is normally followed for effective control of weeds, proper aeration, and good growth of the plants. Orabanche is one of the serious weeds affecting solanaceous crops in some areas. It is a root parasite and should be controlled effectively. A pre-planting treatment of 1.0 kg/ha of fluchloralin followed by one-hand wedding 30 days after transplanting is effective.
The most beneficial effect of mulching is that it conserves soil moisture and controls weeds. Mulching in brinjal crops with black polyethylene film reduces weed growth, accelerates crop growth, induces early bearing, and increases yield.
Use of growth regulators and chemicals.
- Application of 2, 4-D (2ppm) at flowering induces parthenocarpy, increases fruit set, advances fruit maturation, and significantly increases total yield.
- Spraying of 4 PCPA (Para-chlorophenoxy acetic acid) (20ppm) promotes fruit set in brinjal.
- NAA (60ppm) alone or in combination with BA (30ppm) applied on open flowers improved the fruit set.
- Ascorbic acid, GA3, IAA, and thiourea advance the flowering by 4-5 days.
1. Calyx withering
This disorder occurs between mid-February and mid – April. The affected fruits become reddish brown in colour and lacking in normal luster and thus marketability of fruits is hampered. The affected fruits have much higher calcium and nitrate content than healthy ones.
2. Poor fruit set
In brinjal, four types of flower, according to the length of style, are recognized irrespective of the variety namely, long-styled, medium-styled, pseudo short-styled, and short-styled. Pseudo-short and short-styled flowers do not normally set fruit but their numbers in a plant are normally higher than long and medium-styled lower which produce fruits.
In brinjal, flowers are normally borne solitarily as well as in clusters. The solitary flowers are mostly long or medium styled whereas mixtures of short-styled, pseudo-short-styled, and medium /long-styled flowers are found in the cluster. Obviously, the ratio of short-styled flowers to long/medium-styled flowers in clusters is much high (3-4:1). So, the fruit set depends on the plant. Natural drop is also a problem in brinjal which may be as high as 50% in medium-styled flowers and 30% in long-styled flowers.
- True short-styled flowers are actually sterile flowers that cannot be induced to set fruits. However, the application of growth substances on pseudo-short-styled, medium-styled, and long-styled flowers produces a higher percentage of fruit sets.
- Spraying the plant with 2 ppm 2, 4,-D at the flowering stage when few flower clusters appear.
- Spraying with 60 ppm NAA or 500 ppm PCPA (Parachloroacetic acid) at full bloom stage.
Harvesting and yield
Brinjal fruits are harvested when they have developed a good colour and marketable size, are still immature, tender, and have not lost culinary qualities. The fruits are harvested with the stalk at the joint where they are attached to the branch. Normally the plucking can be done in 7 to 10 days depending upon the variety. The yield of brinjal varies according to the region, cultivar, and duration of the crop. Early crop normally yields 20-30 t/ha. While long-duration crop yields 35-40 t/ha. Many F1 hybrids yield about 40-80t/ha.
Storage and post-harvest handling
Brinjal green fruits had the longest shelf life of 4 weeks based on the PLW discoloration, spoilage, and CO2 injury during storage at 8-100C under a controlled atmosphere with an initial concentration of 5% CO2. The fruits can also be stored for 7-10 days in fairly good condition at 7.2-100C with 85-95% RH.
- Phomopsis Blight (Phomopsis vexans): This is a serious disease of brinjal. The fungus attacks all parts of the plant above the ground. The symptoms are brown, circular, or oblong spots on the leaves becoming irregular with age.
- Grow resistant varieties.
- Long crop rotation.
- Hot water treatment of seed at 50oC for 25 minutes.
- Seed treatment with fungicide.
- A weekly spray of nursery and field with some fungicide.
- Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum): The plant shows wilting stunting and yellowing of the foliage followed by the collapse of the entire plant.
- Grow resistant varieties like pusa purple long.
- Long crop rotation
- Damping off (Phytophthora sp. Or Pythium sp.): Generally seeding in the nursery bed is infected they topple over at ground level.
- Sterilization of nursery bed soil by formeline or other copper fungicides.
- Seed should be treated with Ceresan or Agrosan before sowing.
- Little leaf (Mycoplasma): The symptoms are numerous small leaves and deformation of flower parts. The disease is spread by leaf hoppers.
- Remove the affected plant part’s initial stages.
- Spray insecticides like Folidon or Rogor.
Insect Pest Management
- Shoot and fruit borer (Leucinodes orbnalis): It is a short pinkish larva of the pest that initially attacks terminal shoot bores inside as a result of which the shoots wither and dry. In the later stage, it bores into the young fruits by making holes and feeds inside which makes the fruits unfit for human consumption.
- The affected part should be clipped along with the insect and destroyed.
- Spray lindane 11ml in 9 litre of water.
- Three sprays of Carberyl (0.2%) were given at an interval of two weeks
- Leaf Roller: grub/ adult eat up regular areas of leaves.
- Infested leaves are picked and destroyed
- Spray with Endosulfan or Rogor.