The density of herbaceous crops creates a suitable environment to produce pathogens in the soil that intensify the attack of pathogens traditionally controlled by disinfectant, which are mostly prohibited and unlisted because of their toxicity. Grafting is an alternative technique to enhance abiotic stress tolerance and reduce root diseases due to soil-borne pathogens, thus enhancing crop production.
A research study was conducted during the crop season of 2017 and 2018 in order to investigate the interactive effect of different grafting techniques of hybrid scion onto local rootstocks on plants survival, plant phenological growth, fruit yield and fruit quality under a controlled environment. The hybrid cucumber was also planted self-rooted.
The cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) cv. Kalaam F1, Syngenta was grafted onto four local cucurbitaceous rootstocks; ridge gourd (Luffa operculate Cogn.), bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.), pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.), bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl.) using splice grafting, tongue approach, single cotyledon and hole insertion grafting techniques and self-rooted hybrid cucumber under greenhouse conditions.
The experimental results indicated that all local cucurbitaceous rootstocks showed a high compatibility with hybrid cucumber scion in the splice grafting method compared to other grafting and non-grafted methods. Lagenaria siceraria rootstocks were found highly compatible with cucumber cv Kalaam scion which gave significantly maximum plant survival rates (95%) due to high sap contents, high SPAD value, better vegetative growth and maximum fruit yield when compared with other rootstocks by employing the splice grafting method followed by tongue approach, single cotyledon and hole insertion grafting while the fruit quality of all rootstocks was observed to be similar.
The non-grafted cucumber cv. Kalaam F1 showed significant results of plant vegetative growth, fruit development and fruit quality and encountered grafting methods while the lowest result were associated with the hole insertion grafting method in all scion/rootstock combinations. The grafted plants have no significant effect on cucumber fruit dry matter and fruit quality while the fruit mineral compositions (N, P, K, Ca and Mg) were higher among grafted and non-grafted plant fruits.
The results indicate that grafting hybrid cucumber onto four local cucurbitaceous rootstocks influenced growth, yield and fruit quality. Grafting can be alternative and control measure for soil-borne disease and to enhance cucumber production.