Development of suitable rootstock and standardization of appropriate grafting technology for dry and humid areas of India
In 2003, experiments on rootstock breeding and grafting for melon, pepper, tomato and cowpea were started in Chhattisgarh, a state in Central India. Muskmelon cultivation in India is challenged by Fusarium wilt. Landraces of 220 melons were collected in 2009. Snap melon (SM), acid melon (AM) and wild melon (WM) were self-crossed for eight generations, grown on wilt infected soil and 20 hybrid combinations made from the selected lines. Parent lines and crosses were used for grafting melons and tested along-with self-grafted (check) melons, led to selection of an F1 hybrid rootstock, which is a combination of SM×AM. Other rootstock solutions developed by VNR include eggplant rootstock for grafting tomatoes, hot pepper rootstock for grafting of sweet pepper and hot pepper, interspecific pumpkin and citron (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) rootstocks for grafting of water melon, and cowpea rootstock for grafting cowpea for resistance against nematodes and Fusarium wilt. Healing of grafted plants was a challenge due to extremely high temperatures and was solved by replacing the polyethylene with thin white muslin cloth on healing tunnels. This improved grafting success to 98% and making production with grafted plants economical. The technology was commercialized in Chhattisgarh and disseminated to nine other states of India by training staff at more than 50 professional nurseries. Grafting has enabled farmers to grow the crop according to market needs and improve profitability.
Chawda, V. (2021). Development of suitable rootstock and standardization of appropriate grafting technology for dry and humid areas of India. Acta Hortic. 1302, 45-48
Cucumis melo var. agrestis, Citrullus lanatus var. citroides, melons, Solanum torvum, eggplant