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Hortscience report:

Root-knot nematode resistance, yield, and fruit quality of speciality melons grafted onto Cucumis metulifer

Interest in speciality melons (Cucumis melo) with distinctive fruit characteristics has grown in the United States in recent years. However, disease management remains a major challenge in speciality melon production. In this study, grafting experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of using Cucumis metulifer, a species known for its genetic resistance to root-knot nematodes (RKNs; Meloidogyne spp.), as a potential rootstock for managing RKNs in susceptible speciality melon cultivars.

In the greenhouse experiment, honeydew melon ‘Honey Yellow’ was grafted onto C. metulifer and inoculated with M. incognita race 1. The grafted plants exhibited significantly lower gall and egg mass indices and fewer eggs compared with non- and self-grafted ‘Honey Yellow’. Cucumis metulifer was further tested as a rootstock in conventional and organic field trials using honeydew melon ‘Honey Yellow’ and galia melon ‘Arava’ as scions. ‘Honey Yellow’ and ‘Arava’ grafted onto C. metulifer exhibited significantly lower galling and reduced RKN population densities in the organic field; however, total and marketable fruit yields were not significantly different from non- and self-grafted plants.

Click here to read the complete summary and to purchase the full report at ashspublications.org

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