Yield and Quality of Grafted Watermelon Grown in a Field Naturally Infested with Fusarium Wilt

Moreno, Benjamin; Jacob, Cristian; Rosales, Marlene; Krarup, Christian; Contreras, Samuel


Grafting of seedlings is a technique used for watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) production in many countries. Because of higher costs involved, the use of grafted seedlings can only be recommended if it provides clear biological and economic benefits. Since rootstock performance is influenced by compatibility with the cultivar, the existing disease pressure, and climatic conditions, it is necessary to evaluate rootstocks with current cultivars to appraise possible benefits in a given area. Two experiments were carried out in two consecutive seasons with the objective of evaluating the benefits of grafting under Chilean conditions. The rootstocks used were 'Marathon' (Cucurbita maxima x Cucurbita moschata) and 'Macis' (Lagenaria siceraria) with different scions, including some seedless cultivars. In both experiments, grafted plants increased their yield compared with nongrafted plants (136% and 159% in Expts. 1 and 2, respectively). This effect was due to an increased number of fruit per plant (P < 0.01), and the weight gain of the fruit (P < 0.01). Plants presented with fusarium wilt [Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (FON)] in both experiments, which seemed to be the main limitation for nongrafted plant production. In the evaluation of quality attributes [soluble solid concentration (SCC), firmness, color, polar diameter, equatorial diameter, and rind thickness], positive effects were observed in the fruit of grafted plants. For the conditions of these experiments, the increase in yield of grafted plants would be associated with an economic benefit that exceeds its additional cost.

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Título según WOS: Yield and Quality of Grafted Watermelon Grown in a Field Naturally Infested with Fusarium Wilt
Título de la Revista: HORTTECHNOLOGY
Volumen: 26
Número: 4
Fecha de publicación: 2016
Página de inicio: 453
Página final: 459
Notas: ISI