The effect of grafting on salinity tolerance in cucumber plants grown in perlite

A. Gul, O. Cengiz, M. Tepecik
The aim of this study was to determine whether grafting cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L. 'Opal') onto Cucurbita interspecific hybrid (Cucurbita maxima Duch. × Cucurbita moschata Duch.) rootstocks could improve salinity tolerance. Commercial rootstocks (TZ148, Cremna and Maximus) used for cucumber production in greenhouses were tested, and non-grafted plants were used as control. Experiment was conducted in spring 2013 in plastic covered unheated greenhouse. Plants were grown in perlite. Water and nutrient requirements of the plants were covered by a complete nutrient solution. Salt stress was created by NaCl added into nutrient solution: 0, 15 and 30 mM NaCl. NaCl application was started after four weeks from planting. Accumulation of Cl- and Na+ in roots, stems, leaves and fruits; yield (total, marketable and unmarketable) and fruit quality were assessed. Grafting resulted in lower unmarketable yield without depending on NaCl concentrations but higher marketable yield under salt stress in comparison with the nongrafted plants. Na+ uptake by stems, leaves and fruits were lower in grafted plants under salinity. Grafting decreased Cl- uptake by stems and leaves. TZ148 and Maximus decreased also Cl- uptake by fruits compared to nongrafted plants, but Cremna behaved similar to nongrafted plants in this respect. It was concluded that grafting onto Cucurbita interspecific hybrid rootstocks can enhance salt tolerance of cucumber plants by decreasing uptake of Cl- and Na+ to the aerial parts of the plants.
Gul, A., Cengiz, O. and Tepecik, M. 2017. The effect of grafting on salinity tolerance in cucumber plants grown in perlite. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:1165-1172
cucumber, Cucurbita interspecific hybrid rootstock, grafting, salt stress

Acta Horticulturae