One of my black eggplant is covered copiously in developing fruit, over 24. Funny thing is half of them are round and brown and the other half are the normal teardrop black.

Anyone have any idea why this might be?

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  • Ah, well I never did know that Ladybird larvae ate the plants. There's a Ladybird larvae field guide on the Brisbane Insects website and the link refers to the 28-spot which does chomp leaves at both stages of its life. The photos are quite good and could help to identify your leaf-chompers.

  • Ha, I saw the heading and thought you had a multi grafted one as this is possible with eggplant... obviously needed to read the rest!  

    • Yeah me too!

      My lebanese eggplant has produced different looking fruits in the past. The odd fruit would be striped and round. I found that very strange until I notice my neighbour growing striped eggplants. I'm glad bees are doing what they do best.

       

       

      • Did you eat both types Joseph? Were they palatable?

        • Both types were good. The plant's only ever produced two striped fruits and both grew to a good size so I don't think they were a result of disease or nutrient deficiency. They look just like my neighbour's eggplants, that's why I thought cross pollination was the cause.

          • but were they brown?

            • You mean mine?

              No, the anomalies were deep purple with white stripes and had a rounder shape.

              • ah yes, that sounds right. pretty funky to get two different fruits on one plant!

                 

                had you saved the seeds? even so - it's unusual to get two phenotypes on one plant. interesting... pollen doesn't affect the fruit - only the seed. the mother plant should have one genetic type, and all of the fruit should usually be of that one type. ...

                 

                ....so I looked up polyploidy in eggplants - i.e. multiple sets of chromosomes in one plant - and sure enough, they are prone to it, both naturally and because of human interference.

                 

                I guess there could be some variation in genetic expression within the one plant if it has multiple sets of chromosomes, allele swapping, and mixed gene dominance - but it's unusual. there could also be viral involvement - viruses can chop and replace sections of DNA, possibly affecting which phenotype is expressed in infected ovaries? anyway, it's unusual

                 

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyploid

                 

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genotype-phenotype_distinction

          • My plant is becoming severely heat stressed - I can't keep the water up to everything at the moment. It's looking very wilted this afternoon with some of the fruit shriveling.

            • If you have the time to set your sprinkler that might help, meantime you could cut it back, sacrificing the current fruit for future fruitfulness. It's likely to rain quite a bit in the next couple of weeks if the ants galloping around my house know a thing or two.

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