Grafting is generally considered effective in ameliorating vegetable crop tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The use of interspecific hybrid as rootstock for eggplant may represent a valid alternative approach to enhance eggplant performance. However, studies on the effects of different rootstocks on eggplant plant vigor, yield, and fruit quality traits often show conflicting results.
Thus, an experiment was performed in two spring–summer growing seasons (2014 and 2015) by grafting eggplant ′Scarlatti′ F1 hybrid on two accessions of S. aethiopicum gr. gilo and on the interspecific hybrid S. melongena × S. aehtiopicumgr. gilo in comparison to the most common eggplant rootstock S. torvum.
Results indicate that S. melongena × S. aethiopicum gr. gilo interspecific hybrid and S. torvum improved grafting success, plant vigor, early flowering and yield in ′Scarlatti′ F1 scion. All rootstocks tested did not negatively influence fruit apparent quality traits and fruit quality composition. Moreover, fruit glycoalkaloids content remained below the recommended threshold value.
These findings suggest that the use of S. melongena × S. aethiopicum gr. gilo interspecific hybrid as rootstock may be a good alternative to the most commonly used S. torvum.