Impact of Scion and Rootstock Seedling Quality Selection on the Vigor of Watermelon–Interspecific Squash Grafted Seedlings

Filippos Bantis, Athanasios Koukounaras, Anastasios S. Siomos, Christodoulos Dangitsis
2020 Agriculture  
Watermelon is mainly grafted onto interspecific squash, and during the season of high demand, seedlings of variable quality are used to cover grafting needs. The objective was to combine watermelon and interspecific squash of different seedling quality categories in order to obtain the optimal combination for the production of high-quality grafted watermelon seedlings. Acceptable seedlings of both species were grouped into quality categories, namely "low", "optimum", and "high". Seedlings of
more » ... h". Seedlings of each quality category were combined with each other and grafted seedlings from the nine derived categories were evaluated at two time intervals, at 7 (exit from the healing chamber) and 14 (final product) days after grafting. At both time intervals, watermelon "high" combined with interspecific squash "optimum" exhibited relatively higher shoot length, stem diameter, leaf area, and shoot and root dry weight, as well as shoot dry weight-to-length ratio, which is a quality index. The study shows that watermelon scions should have "high" quality, while interspecific squash rootstocks should have "optimum" quality during grafting for the production of high-quality grafted plants. If possible, "low" to-be-grafted watermelon seedlings should be avoided because the grafted derived seedlings are considered low quality.
doi:10.3390/agriculture10080326 fatcat:if7y5iy4gzcphg2yx27jfglo2u