Effect of different rootstocks on plant growth, yield and quality of watermelon

Document Type : Original Article


Vegertable Crops Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt. Experimental Farm Station of Sakata Seed Company, Ismalia, Egypt.


This study was conducted in the experimental farm of Sakata Seed Company, located in Ismalia Governorate, Egypt in 2012 and 2013. Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum and Nakai] cultivar Aswan F1 was grafted onto 5 different rootstocks, namely, 6001, Squash 3, Kazako,  Emphasis and Argentario. The ungrafted Aswan watermelon cultivar was used as the control. Plants were grown in sandy soil under open field conditions. The results showed that while survival rate was low (64%) in control, it ranged from 82.0% to 100% in grafted plants. Grafted plants showed more vigorous vegetative growth than the control plants. When the soil was heavily infected with soil borne diseases, in the first season, the control plants had 7.987 ton/fed yield, while all types of rootstocks produced 30–127 % higher yield than the control. When the soil was free from soil borne diseases, in the second season, the control plants had 16.178 ton/fed yield, while grafted plants produced 9–13 % higher yield than the control. In contrast, Kazako rootstock had 12% less yield than the control. This could be attributed to incomplete compatibility of Kazako rootstock. Length and diameter of fruit and rend of fruit were positively influenced by grafting in the first year, while TSS% was significantly reduced by grafting in the second season. The study showed the importance of using grafting in heavily infected with soil borne diseases and importance of choosing the rootstocks that positively influence plant growth as well as yield and quality of scion fruit for the commercial use of grafting in watermelon fields.


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