Reaction to diseases and yield of a passion fruit clone propagated by cuttings and grafting on rooted-herbaceous cuttings of wild Passiflora specie

Diseases induced by soil-borne pathogens cause expressive losses in passion fruit crops in Brazil. The use of resistant rootstocks could be an alternative to control these diseases. Passiflora nitida is one of the wild species of Passifloraceae, which have presented resistance to these diseases, but its utilization as seedling rootstock has been limited mainly due to differences of thickness between rootstock and the graft of the commercial cultivars. This problem can be solved by using grafting on rootstock of rooted-herbaceous cuttings and hypocotyledonary grafting, but data about the performance and yield of grafted passion fruit in field conditions are yet scarce in Brazil. The objective of this work was to evaluate the reaction to disease attack, yield and physical characteristics of fruits from a commercial passion fruit clone propagated by rooted cuttings, by grafting on rooted cuttings of a wild P. nitida (source EC-PN 1) and by seeds. The plants were cultivated in a red-yellow latosol with a drip irrigation system and oriented on a vertical espalier of 1,90 meters high. Harvest occurred weekly during 14 months and disease eva1uations were carried out at 17, 18 and 19 months after the planting. Plant yields from rooted cuttings were twice greater than those from grafted plants or seedlings. The plants propagated by grafting and rooted cuttings were lesser affected by diseases.

Disease control; asexual propagation; rootstock; Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa; Passiflora nitida; fruit physical characteristics

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