Fenix, the Sicilian seed company based at the foot of Etna, has always worked on projects dedicated to the development of rootstocks for professional vegetable plants. Recently, it has begun to study the application of intraspecific hybrids to improve vigor management and maintain quality characteristics of the fruits.
Red Devil in eggplants
"The practice of grafting helps the preserve of the crop from the main telluric pathogens," says Andrea Loprevite with Fenix. "This also explains the great success of rootstocks among farmers and operators of the sector, who need more vigor and strength for their crops."
The most appreciated Fenix rootstocks are Red Devil and Securforce, tomato hybrids rootstocks. "Unlike the most common interspecific hybrids on the market, these ones are a cross between two selections of cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)," he explains and adds that there are many advantages for using intraspecific hybrids. "Easier plant management, earliness, excellent root resistance, and continuity of production," he sums up.
"Red Devil and Securforce ensure an effective and environmentally friendly strategy, thanks to the very high percentage of graft rooting. They also guarantee uniform germinability."
The main characteristics of the two rootstocks
"Growers who focus on the quality of their productions choose Red Devil and Securforce because they do not alter the typical characteristics of the grafted variety, keeping the original shape, color, and flavor of the variety," Andrea explains.
"Thanks to their intraspecific nature, they allow a very balanced growth of the plant, without causing any delays in maturation. On the contrary, an advance of about ten days compared to wild rootstocks has occurred."
Red Devil and Securforce have also shown high tolerance to water salinity. "When water salinity reaches prohibitive levels, plant survival may be compromised. Securforce, in particular, showed an extraordinary ability of selective absorption by the exclusion roots towards Na+ ions."
Red Devil and Securforce: Differences
It is possible to find out the full rootstocks range developed until now on the website owned by the Sicilian company. "The research is going forward and the list is still evolving", Andrea laughs.
"Red Devil is settled between the high-vigor rootstocks and it is suitable for long cycles, especially growing hydroponically. Ideal planting time would be during the Spring-Summer period because it improves leaf coverage of the fruits and/or in old/tired soils. It evidences excellent tolerance to salinity and, at the same time, it keeps the original fruit color, shape, and taste."
"Moreover, Red Devil proved to be an excellent ally for eggplant farmers, because it brings a strong earliness in the production and it is suggested for short length cycles (August/December)."
On the other side, Securforce is a mid-vigor rootstock showing very good performances during the coldest periods of the year, improving the generative and fruit set capacity of the scion. "Thanks to the balanced metabolism, the plants grow in a regular way, pledging the typical shape and organoleptic characteristics of the fruits."
"=It is one of the hybrids with the highest number of resistances on the market between which, the third Fusarium oxysporum race (F3), suberose root and bacterial wilting.
It is indicated for middle, little and ribbed typologies and it is used both for short cycles with big size products (cluster and ox-heart) and long ones (middle and little size tomatoes).
For more information:
For a correct interpretation of the terms consult our website on this page Legend of resistances.