Vegetable Grafting a boon to green house growers

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“ Grafting of Vegetables : A boon to greenhouse vegetable growers” :

“ Grafting of Vegetables : A boon to greenhouse vegetable growers” Koundinya M.Sc (Vegetable Science) Siva kumar M.Sc (Vegetable Science)



Introduction :

Introduction Grafting of woody plants has been common for centuries In general almost all the vegetables are annuals and some are biennials, when they are grown for seed production and annuals, when they are grown for vegetable consumption. Therefore the need for grafting in vegetables arises mainly to develop resistance to several biotic and abiotic stresses and to improve yield and quality but not to reduce the juvenility.


HISTORY AND CURRENT STATUS The production of grafted vegetable plants was first began in Japan and Korea in the late 1920s with watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus Matsum. et Nakai) grafted onto pumpkin ( Cucurbita moschata ) rootstock (Lee 1994) Soon after, watermelons ( Citrullus lanatus ) were grafted onto bottle gourd ( Lagenaria siceraria ) rootstocks. Eggplant ( Solanum melongena ) was grafted onto scarlet eggplant ( Solanum integrifolium Poir.) in the 1950s. Later, grafting was introduced to North America from Europe in the late 20th century and it is now attracting growing interest, both from greenhouse growers and organic producers (Kubota et al. 2008)

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Grafting of vegetables was originated as a random experiment in Korea and Japan. In temperate regions of the world summer season vegetables are grown under green houses. With the ban of fumigant fungicides and nematicides since 1970s in European countries, grafting of susceptible scions on resistant rootstocks is become an effective alternative against soil borne pathogens. More over, in organic cultivation of vegetables grafting eliminates the use of chemicals in disease control. Because of the above said reasons it is now attracting growing interest, both from greenhouse growers and organic producers. This process is now common in Asia, parts of Europe and the Middle East (Davis et al. 2008).

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Grafting tomato plants has increased in European countries like Spain, France and Italy. Grafted tomato plants are produced to a tune of over 45 million ton in Spain and over 20 million ton in France and Italy . In Japan, the percentage of area using grafted plants to the total production area is 93% for water melons 71% for cucumbers Even though grafting originated in east Asia, it didn’t get attention among the growers of South Asia. It became popularized in cold countries where year round cultivation of vegetables is being carried out under green houses

What is Grafting ??????:

What is Grafting ?????? Grafting is a vegetative propagation method wherein two living plant parts (the rootstock and scion) are united together to grow as a single plant



Why Grafting?????:

Why Grafting????? It is started as a non commercial technique and random experiment in Japan. Later on found as useful method to confer resistance against many diseases and abiotic stresses by grafting the commercial cultivars on to resistant root stocks. Vegetables grown under greenhouses are severely affected by the various soil borne diseases and root-knot nematodes. An estimated loss of 68% in vegetable yield caused by soil borne diseases under continuous cropping (Takahashi 1984).

Disease tolerance:

Disease tolerance Grafting is a cultural practice that constitutes an important component of the IPM systems under protected cultivation of Solanaceous and Cucurbitaceous vegetables. ( Habana, 2008) Grafting is a quick method for controlling race 1 and 2 of Fusarium oxysporum f. melonis of melon (Nisini et al, 2002)

Low temperature tolerance :

Grafting is useful to initiate flowering and fruit set at low temperature. Grafted plants have more content of Linolenic acid, which helps in the survival of plants under low temperature ( Pandey and Rai, 2003 ). Concentration of proline, vitamin-c and water soluble sugars were higher in grafted seedling than in ungrafted seedling (Ai et al, 1999). Low temperature tolerance

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Grafted plants can survive at 10 o C also. Grafts may save the energy of poly house in cooler parts of the world. Grafts have been used to induce resistance against low temperature (Bulder et al., 1990).

High temperature tolerance:

High temperature tolerance Use grafted tomato may give certain degree of resistance against thermal stress. (Rivero et al, 2003) The use of eggplants as rootstocks for tomato at higher temperature seemed to be more promising. (Abdelmageed and Gruda,2009)

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Eggplants grafted onto a heat-tolerant rootstock of eggplant seemed to be promising and resulted in a prolonged growth stage and yield increase up to 10%. (Wang et al., 2007) Chilli grafted on sweet pepper rootstocks has given highest yields under high-temperature conditions. (Palada and Wu, 2008)

High salt tolerance:

High salt tolerance Grafts have been used to enhance vegetable tolerance to salinity and give high yield. (AVRDC, 2000) Grafting provides an alternative way to improve salt tolerance. (Estan et al, 2005)

Flood Tolerance:

Flood Tolerance Inter-generic grafting imparts flood tolerance in cucurbits. ( Pandey and Rai, 2003 IIVR, Varanasi) Grafting improved flooding tolerance of bitter gourd ( Momordia charanthia L. cv. New Known You ) when grafted onto sponge gourd ( Luffa cylindria Roem cv. Cylinder). (Liao and Lin, 1996)

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AVRDC recommends growing tomatoes on eggplant accessions EG195 or EG203 and sweet pepper on chilli accessions PP0237-7502 , PP0242-62 and Lee B for flood tolerance. (AVRDC, 2003 & 2009)

High yield:

High yield Grafting increase yield through… Enhanced water uptake. Enhanced nutrient uptake. Manipulating harvest period.

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Grafted plants gave more yield than the non-grafted ones in the greenhouse as well as in the open-field (Khah et al, 2006) Grafts have been used to improve yield when plants are cultivated in problematic soils (Kacjan-Marsic and Osvald, 2004) Yield and Water Use Efficiency were higher in grafted plants ( Oztekin et al, 2009)

Improving quality traits:

Improving quality traits Grafting increases number of marketable fruits and decrease number of malformed fruits in tomato . ( Pandey and Rai, 2003) Flavor, pH, sugar, color, carotenoid content, and texture can be affected by grafting and the type of rootstock used. (Davis et al, 2008).

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An increase in ascorbic acid content in tomato was found with grafting. ( Zhu et al. 2006) Grafted fruit had a better colour and highest lycopene content in tomato. (Chung et al., 1997)

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Earlier methyl bromide fumigation was used to control green house diseases - banned in 2005 in European countries - Some undesirable effects on fruit quality All these burst open into the technology “ Grafting of Vegetables ”

How to perform grafting????:

How to perform grafting???? Basic prerequisites : Root stocks Scions Compatibility Grafting Aids Screen house Healing chamber/Grafting chamber Acclimatization chamber Species / Varietal Specific

Screen house:

Screen house Used for growing seedlings prior to grafting Should be constructed with 60-mesh nylon net . Arrange double door The upper half of the structure should be covered with a separate UV resistant polyethylene to prevent UV light penetration.

Healing chamber/ Grafting chamber:

Healing chamber/ Grafting chamber Used for formation of better graft union In this chamber grafts should be kept for 5-7 days Advantages of healing chamber Reduces water stress by reducing transpiration Maintains high humidity Maintains optimum temperature Reduces light intensity

Healing chamber:

Healing chamber

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Temperature-25-30 o C , RH-85-90%, Low light intensity

Acclimatization chamber:

Acclimatization chamber Used for hardening the grafted seedling prior to transplanting and to prevent leaf burning and wilting of the just healed seedlings. Grafted seedling take 7 to 10 days for acclimatization as hardening treatment.

Grafting aids:

Grafting aids A. Grafting clips, B. Tubes, C. Pins, D. Other aids.

Grafting clips:

Grafting clips

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Grafting Methods for Vegetables

Methods of Grafting:

Methods of Grafting 1. Cleft Grafting 2. Tongue Approach/Approach Grafting 3. Hole Insertion/Top Insertion Grafting 4. One Cotyledon/Slant/Splice grafting 5.Tube Grafting 6. Pin Grafting

Cleft grafting:

Cleft grafting It is a simple and easy method It is suitable for rootstocks with wide hypocotyls Can be practiced in all vegetables

Cleft grafting:

Cleft grafting

Tongue Approach/Approach Graft:

Tongue Approach/Approach Graft Most widely used by farmers and small nurseries This method requires more space and labor compared to other methods but high seedling survival rate can be attained even by beginners. Grafted seedlings have a uniform growth rate It is not suitable for rootstocks with hollow hypocotyls

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Root stock & Scion material Preparing root stock & scion Joining the scion to the rootstock Securing the joint with a grafting strip

Hole Insertion/Top Insertion Grafting:

Hole Insertion/Top Insertion Grafting This is most popular in cucurbits. When scion and rootstock have hollow hypocotyls, this method is preferred (Hang et al ., 2005) One person can produce 1,500 or more grafts/day To achieve a high rate of success, relative humidity should be maintained at 95%. After healing temperature should maintain at 21-36◦C up to transplanting.

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Root stock & Scion material Making a hole for the scion Inserting the scion in rootstock Securing the joint with the clip

Slant grafting:

Slant grafting It has recently been adopted by commercial seedling nurseries (Sakata et al ., 2007). It is applicable to most vegetables. It has been developed for robotic grafting. Grafted plants should be maintained in the dark at 25 ◦ C and 100% humidity for three days for graft union.

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Root stock & Scion material Securing the joint with the clip Joining the root stock & Scion Preparing the root stock & Scion

Tube Grafting:

Tube Grafting It is similar to slant grafting except that in this method root stock & scion joined are held with an elastic tube instead of clips. It is more popular in tomato, brinjal.

Tube grafting:

Tube grafting

Pin Grafting:

Pin Grafting It is also same as the slant grafting. In this instead of grafting clips, to hold the grafted position, specially designed pins are used. The ceramic pin is nearly about 15mm long and 0.5mm in diagonal width of the hexagonal cross-section.

Pin Grafting:

Pin Grafting PINS

Automated Grafting :

Automated Grafting The first semiautomatic cucumber grafting system was commercialized in 1993. A simple grafting machine can produce 350–600 grafts/hour with 2 operators, whereas manual grafting techniques produce about 1,000 grafts / person / day (Gu, 2006). A fully automated grafting robot performing 750 grafts/hour with a 90-93% success rate. (Kubota et al, 2008)

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Semi automated grafted machine developed by Helper Robotic Company, Korea

Grafting Robot at USDA Labs:

Grafting Robot at USDA Labs

For a high survival rate in grafting…:

For a high survival rate in grafting … Before grafting : 1. Expose the scions and rootstocks to sunlight for 2 to 3 days before grafting. 2. Drying of the potted soil where the scion and rootstock grow by controlled watering to avoid spindly growth. 3. Scion and rootstock with similar diameters are important to increase the survival rate.

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After Grafting: Keep 100% RH for 3 days and then gradually reduce the humidity. Keep the light intensity at 3-5 k lux

Field management of grafts:

Field management of grafts Raised beds and shelters Raised beds are highly recommended to minimize flooding. Clear polyethylene covered on raised beds can be used to protect the field plants from direct impact of heavy rainfall.


Transplanting depth The graft union should be placed above soil line while transplanting. Sucker and adventitious root removal Timely removal of suckers developed from the rootstock after transplanting.

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Staking and pruning Grafted plants should be staked two to three weeks after transplanting This will prevent vines from sliding down and the scion stem contacting the soil Water management Plants with eggplant rootstocks require higher soil moisture than non-grafted tomato plants

Economic feasibility:

Economic feasibility More labor required. High cost of grafted seedlings. In Japan, grafted seedlings are almost four times the cost of seeds (Sakata et al, 2007). Special care is required Additional charge of transplanting in case of cucurbits. It can be overcome by the heavy yields




TOMATO Grafting in tomato is started around 1960 and 1970 (Edelstein 2004). Tomato production during the hot-wet season in most of the Southeast Asian countries is constrained by biotic and abiotic factors including flooding, impact of heavy rains, high temperature and high incidence of soil borne diseases such as bacterial wilt and nematodes (Palada and Wu 2007).

Grafting methods used in Tomato:

Grafting methods used in Tomato Cleft grafting (Oda 1999) Approach grafting (Lee 2003) Tube grafting (Rivard and Louws 2006)

Rootstocks suggested for improving yield and quality.:

Rootstocks suggested for improving yield and quality. SCION ROOTSTOCK REFERENCE Cecilia F1 Maxifort, Beaufort Mohammed et al 2009 Heman, Spirit Qaryouti et al. 2007 Jermy Maxifort, Vigomax Miskovic et al. 2009 Boludo Radja Flores et al 2010 Rita Beaufort Romano,Paratore 2001

Rootstocks suggested for improving biotic stress resistance.:

Rootstocks suggested for improving biotic stress resistance. DISEASE ROOTSTOCK REFERENCE Fusariumf wilt Maxifort (no symptom) Rivard, Louws 2008a Robusta (intermediate) Rivard , Louws 2008a Bacterial wilt CRA 66, Hawaii 7996 Rivard , Louws 2008a RST 105 (100% control), Dai Honmei (intermediate) Rivard , Louws 2008b Southern blight Bigpower, Maxifort, Beaufort Rivard et al. 2010

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Byczynski, Mar, 2011

Rootstocks suggested for improving abiotic stress resistance.:

Rootstocks suggested for improving abiotic stress resistance. ABIOTIC STRESS SCION ROOTSTOCK REFERENCE Salinity Fanny,Goldmar AR-9704 Garcia et al. 2004 Jaguar Radja, Pera Estaan et al. 2005 Durianta F1 Maxifort, Vigomax Oztekin et al. 2009 High temperature Eggplant line EG203 Tomato line H7996 Burleigh et al. 2005

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Byczynski, Mar, 2011

Grafted & non- grafted tomato plant with fruits:

Grafted & non- grafted tomato plant with fruits

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B- Bigred alone BH- Bigred on Heman BP- Bigred on Primavera BB- Bigred self graft Effect of grafting on yield of tomato cultivar Bigred Khah et al., 2006, Greece

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bacterial wilt incidence Total Yield lb/plant 10 11.7 19 14 n Non grafted celebrity Celebrity/celebrity Celebrity/ DP 105 Celebrity/ Ashai > 90% > 70 % > 40% 0 % Rivard et al., 2008, USA


POMATO Pomato plant is a result of grafting of tomato on potato plants. We can reap tomatoes on the top of the plant and potatoes under the soil. Tomato Potato

Pomato plant:

Pomato plant Tomato grafted onto potato plants near harvest time.


Cucurbits Research on cucurbit grafting began in Japan around 1920 with a study on watermelon. Pumpkin was initially used as a rootstock with watermelon to prevent fusarium wilt In 1949 Imazu recommended pumpkin ( Cucrbita moschata ) as root stock to musk melon ( cucumis melo var. inodorus ) cultivar haramadhu as it confers resistant to fusarium wilt and improves plant vigor Based on the results of various trials, mainly on Cucurbita spp., the fusarium-wilt-resistant bottle gourd variety Renshi was eventually released in the 1980s China produces more than half of the world's watermelons and cucumbers ( Cucumis sativus L.) and approximately 20% of these are grafted (Davis et al. 2008).

Rootstocks suggested for improving yield and quality.:

Rootstocks suggested for improving yield and quality. CROP SCION ROOTSTOCK REFERENCE Muskmelon Ofir Adir Cohen et al. 2007 Cucumber -- Pumpkin Davis et al. 2008 Watermelon -- Bottlegourd Yetisir et al. 2006

Rootstocks suggested for improving biotic stress resistance.:

Rootstocks suggested for improving biotic stress resistance. CROP DISEASE ROOTSTOCK REFERENCE Cucumber Stem & Root rot Peto42.91, TS 1358, TZ 148 Pavlou et al. 2002 Fusarium wilt Brava (Interspecific hybrid) Edelstein et al. 1999 Muskmelon Fusarium wilt Muskmelon, cucurbit sps. Cohen et al. 2007 Squash interspecific hybrids Crino et al. 2007 Nematode Cucumis & Cucurbit asps. Siguenza et al. 2005 GummyStem blight Squash interspecific hybrids Crino et al. 2007

Rootstocks suggested for improving abiotic stress resistance.:

Rootstocks suggested for improving abiotic stress resistance. ABIOTIC STRESS CROP ROOTSTOCK REFERENCE Low temperature Cucurbits Shin-tosa Okimura et al. 1986 Drought Watermelon Waxgourd Sakata et al. 2007 Bittergourd Spongegourd Liao and Lin, 1996

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Miguel et al., 2004, Spain

Fusarium wilt resistance in melons cohen et al., 2007, Israel:

Fusarium wilt resistance in melons cohen et al., 2007, Israel Disesed plants grafted onto suspetible rootstock Healthy plants grafted onto resistant rootstock


CUCURBIT GRAFTING IN INDIA GRAFT UNION Momordica cochinchinensis is a dioecious plant. The female plants are grafted on to the Male plants to increase its production. 98% of graft success is observed at NBPGR regional station, Thrissur, Kerala ICAR News, 2011, V. 17(1)


Conclusion Grafting provides a site specific management tool for soil borne diseases. It fits well into the organic and integrated crop production system. It reduces the need for soil disinfectants and thereby environmental pollution. Grafting technology has a potential in promotion of cultivation in non-traditional and fragile agro-eco system .

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Grafting is a rapid alternative tool to the relatively slow breeding methodology aimed at increasing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance of fruit vegetables. Since grafting gives increased disease tolerance and vigor to crops, it will be useful in the low-input sustainable horticulture of the future.

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Than Q

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