Increasing survival and efficacy of splice-grafted watermelon using sucrose and antitranspirant
The production of grafted watermelon seedlings on a large scale in the United States is limited. This is due to the one-cotyledon grafting technique, that is most commonly used for watermelon grafting, as it requires more time and labor than splice grafting, which is used to produce large numbers of grafted solanaceous plants. More research is needed to investigate the use of splice grafting as an effective grafting method for watermelon. This study tested the application of sucrose and antitranspirant treatments as drench application to rootstock seedlings before grafting to increase the survival of splice-grafted watermelon. Treatments were 2% sucrose, 2% sucrose + 2% antitranspirant A, 2% sucrose + 4% antitranspirant B, and water (control). Sucrose was applied three times, every other day starting six days prior to grafting: 20 mL for the first and second application, and 10 mL for the third application. Both antitranspirant treatments were applied at 20 mL in combination with the third application of sucrose. The control consisted of 20 mL of tap water applied for the first and second application, and 30 mL for the third application. Plants were healed in a bench-top chamber in the greenhouse following guidelines developed by this research group for this location. Survival (%) of splice-grafted watermelon seedlings 21 days after grafting was greatest for plants that received 2% sucrose + 4% antitranspirant B and 2% sucrose + 2% antitranspirant A (90 and 85%, respectively), followed by plants that received 2% sucrose solution (70%), and was lowest for plants that received water only (20%) (P<0.0001). Application of sucrose with an antitranspirant to splice-grafted watermelon can increase the survival of grafted watermelon seedlings.
Devi, P. and Miles, C.A. (2021). Increasing survival and efficacy of splice-grafted watermelon using sucrose and antitranspirant. Acta Hortic. 1302, 73-78
grafted watermelon, survival, scion, rootstock regrowth, carbohydrate