Grafted watermelon survival rate and agronomic performance

Grafting has been used in order to provide resistance to plants, allowing cultivation in areas contaminated by soil pathogens and, when performed on suitable rootstocks, offers a number of agronomic advantages when compared to those obtained with conventional farming. This study aimed to evaluate the survival rate and the agronomic and quality performance of BRS Opara grafted by approach in four genotypes of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata): BGC 186, BGC 217, BGC 830 and BGC 830.1; and in two genotypes of forage watermelon (Citrullus lanatus variety citroides): BGCIA 223 and BGCIA 857. We quantified the survival rate, in a greenhouse, under a completely randomized design; the grafted and non-grafted productivity and the fruits were characterized by the following parameters: fruit shape, internal and external color, fresh weight, pulp firmness, center pulp soluble solids and pulp homogenized, titratable acidity, ratio of soluble solids to titratable acidity and pH. To evaluate agronomic and qualitative fruit parameters we adopted the randomized block design with four replicates of five plants. The survival rate of grafted seedlings, after weaning, varied depending on the rootstock. Compared to the performance of the control (23.5 t ha-1), there was an average increase of 66.5% in the productivity of plants grafted on BGCIA 223, BGC 830, BGC 217 and BGCIA 857. For the 'BRS Opara', initially these rootstocks may be recommended, for they have determined increased productivity without affecting fruit quality.

Citrullus lanatus; Cucurbita moschata; grafting; productivity

Associação Brasileira de Horticultura UFRPE (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Manoel de Medeiros s/n, Dois Irmãos,, 52171-900 Recife-PE, Tel. (81) 3320 6064, - Vitoria da Conquista - BA - Brazil