Effects of Dual/Threefold Rootstock Grafting on the Plant Growth, Yield and Quality of Watermelon
To test the feasibility of multi-rootstock grafting, bottle gourd and pumpkin were used as rootstocks in a comparative analysis of the effects of single, dual, and threefold rootstock grafting on the plant growth, fruit yield, and quality of watermelon. Results showed that different grafts have significant effects on the abovementioned properties. The appropriate dual/threefold rootstock grafting allowed for higher survival rates. The combined rootstock of bottle gourd and pumpkin can enhance the plant growth potential and lower the incidence of wilt. The single fruit weight of the grafted plants with a combined rootstock from bottle gourd and pumpkin was the median of the weights obtained with the pumpkin rootstock and the bottle gourd rootstock. The plot yield of grafted plants with a pumpkin rootstock was higher than that of the plants with a bottle gourd rootstock. The low soluble solids content of the fruit grafted with a pumpkin rootstock had relatively high acidity, which could be improved by adding bottle gourd to the rootstock. The vitamin C content of the grafted fruit from the combined bottle gourd and pumpkin rootstock was higher than that of plants grafted with either bottle gourd or pumpkin alone. The subsequent analysis showed that the combined rootstock of bottle gourd and pumpkin has significant or extremely significant interaction effects on the stem diameter, number of leaves, single fruit weight, plot yield, and fruit vitamin C content of the grafted watermelon plants, which probably led to the higher related index values of some of grafting combinations.
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