Yield and Quality of Mini-watermelon as Affected by Grafting and Mycorrhizal Inoculum

A Miceli, C Romano, A Moncada, G Piazza, L Torta, F D'anna, F Vetrano
2016 J. Agr. Sci. Tech   unpublished
Grafting and mycorrhizal fungi have gained interest for the positive effects they can have on vegetable crops. The aim of this work was to study the combined effect of grafting with Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) inoculation on fruit yield and quality of mini-watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (thumb.) Matsum and Nakai]. Ungrafted plants or grafted onto rootstock RS 841 (Cucurbita maxima×C. moschata) were transplanted to the field. During cultivation, half of the plants were inoculated
more » ... with a suspension of AMF. Plant growth and fruit yield and quality were evaluated. The inoculation of AMF resulted in a significant increase of root colonization both for grafted and ungrafted plants. The grafted inoculated plants had a greater vigour and productivity than ungrafted uninoculated plants. Grafting and AMF inoculation caused significant increases in yield and fruit weight. Qualitative characteristics of watermelon fruits were significantly affected mainly by grafting. The combined use of grafting with mycorrhizal inoculation may increase the yield of mini-watermelon fruit, maintaining good quality characteristics.