THE HISTORY, CURRENT STATUS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS OF VEGETABLE GRAFTING IN CHINA
In China, the earliest literature about vegetable grafting was recorded in an ancient book Fan-Sheng-Zhi-Shu in the first century, BC. However, commercial application began in 1970s and increased with the rapid development of protected cultivation. The main purposes of grafted vegetable production in China are to overcome soil borne diseases and increase resistance against abiotic stress. Currently, China is the leading producer of cucurbitaceous and solanaceous vegetables across the world. About 40% of watermelon, 20% of melon, 30% of cucumber, 15% of eggplant, 1% of tomato, and 1% of pepper are grafted. In addition, grafting is also used for the production of bitter gourd and wax gourd. In comparison to the requirement of the great market, nowadays the production of grafted vegetable seedlings is far less than demand in China. The hole insertion and root removed grafting methods are very popular for the cucurbitaceous vegetables, while the tube and cleft grafting methods are often employed for the solanaceous vegetables. Many seedling nursery companies, institutes and universities carry out studies on the seedling production, rootstock breeding, facilities development, plant physiology and molecular biology in relation to vegetable grafting. At least 40 cultivars of rootstock for the vegetable grafting have been bred and released, a series of grafting robots have been developed, and some scientific results have been published in international journals. At present China has initiated several research projects related to vegetable grafting and organized several domestic symposiums on vegetable grafting. Currently, there are some problems that limit the wide use of grafted seedlings, including the increasing labor cost, spread of seed borne diseases, lack of compatible multi-disease-resistant rootstocks, and not fully known rootstock-scion interaction mechanism on plant growth, development, tolerance and fruit quality. To solve these problems, some countermeasures are put forward: (1) to strengthen the development of grafting facilities and equipment, (2) to set up healthy seedlings production system, (3) to enhance the rootstock breeding, especially screening germplasm from the wild type resources and rootstocks with small cotyledons and tolerance to high temperature, (4) and to strengthen the fundamental research on the mechanism of physiology, fruit quality, and molecular biology in relation to grafting.
Huang, Y., Kong, Q.S., Chen, F. and Bie, Z.L. (2015). THE HISTORY, CURRENT STATUS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS OF VEGETABLE GRAFTING IN CHINA. Acta Hortic. 1086, 31-39
rootstock breeding, seedling production, stresses, rootstock scion interaction, fruit quality