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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cucurbit grafting

Authors
item Davis, Angela
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope
item Sakata, Yoshiteru - NIVTS, JAPAN
item Lopez-Galarza, Salvador - POLITECNICA VALENCIA/SPAI
item Maroto, Jose - POLITECNICA VALENCIA/SPAI
item Lee, Sang-Gyu - RURAL DEV ADMIN, KOREA
item Huh, Ynu-Chan - RURAL DEV ADMIN, KOREA
item Sun, Zhanyong - AVRDC, TAIWAN
item Miguel, Alfredo - IVIA, SPAIN
item King, Stephen - TX A&M, COLLEGE STATION
item Cohen, Roni - ARO, ISRAEL
item Lee, Jung-Myung - KYUNG HEE UNIV. KOREA

Submitted to: Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Davis, A.R., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Sakata, Y., Lopez-Galarza, S., Maroto, J.V., Lee, S., Huh, Y., Sun, Z., Miguel, A., King, S.R., Cohen, R., Lee, J. 2008. Cucurbit grafting. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences. 27:50-74.

Interpretive Summary: Due to limited availability of arable land and high market demand for off-season vegetables, cucurbits (squash, pumpkin, watermelon, and melon) are continuously cultivated in some countries under unfavorable conditions: too cold, hot, wet, or dry; and in cool low-light greenhouses in winter. Successive cropping increases salinity, the incidence of cucurbit pests, and soil-borne diseases like fusarium wilt. These conditions cause various physiological and pathological disorders leading to severe crop loss. Chemical pest control is expensive, not always effective, and is often harmful to the environment. Grafting has the potential to overcome many of these problems. In fact, in many parts of the world, grafting has become a routine technique in continuous cropping systems. It was first introduced in Korea and Japan during the late 1920s by grafting watermelon onto bottle gourd rootstocks to address the problems of declining yield due to soil-borne diseases. It is estimated that more than half of the world's watermelons and cucumbers are produced in China, and over 90% of these are grafted. Use of rootstocks can enhance plant vigor through vigorous attainment of soil nutrients, avoidance of soil pathogens and tolerance of low soil temperatures, salinity, and wet-soil conditions. The type of rootstock used affects cucurbit plant growth, yield, and fruit quality. Cucurbit grafting is rare in the United States, but with continued loss of quality disease-free farmland along with the phase-out of methyl bromide, the U.S. cucurbit industry sees grafting as a viable option. In fact, some seed companies now offer watermelon transplants grafted onto squash or bottle gourd rootstocks and some transplant facilities offer grafting services. There have been thorough analyses of various aspects of cucurbit grafting in other countries, but there is limited literature written in English. This review summarizes the state of the cucurbit grafting industry on a global level, translating work published in many different languages.

Technical Abstract: Due to limited availability of arable land and high market demand for off-season vegetables, cucurbits (plants in the family Cucurbitaceae) are continuously cultivated in some countries under unfavorable conditions: too cold, hot, wet, or dry; and in cool low-light greenhouses in winter. Successive cropping increases salinity, the incidence of cucurbit pests, and soil-borne diseases like fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium spp. These conditions cause various physiological and pathological disorders leading to severe crop loss. Chemical pest control is expensive, not always effective, and is often harmful to the environment. Grafting has the potential to overcome many of these problems. In fact, in many parts of the world, grafting has become a routine technique in continuous cropping systems. It was first introduced in Korea and Japan during the late 1920s by grafting watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai) onto bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl.) rootstocks to address the problems of declining yield due to soil-borne diseases. It is estimated that more than half of the world's watermelons and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) are produced in China, and over 90% of these are grafted. Use of rootstocks can enhance plant vigor through vigorous attainment of soil nutrients, avoidance of soil pathogens and tolerance of low soil temperatures, salinity, and wet-soil conditions. The type of rootstock used affects cucurbit plant growth, yield, and fruit quality. Cucurbit grafting is rare in the United States, but with continued loss of quality disease-free farmland along with the phase-out of methyl bromide, the U.S. cucurbit industry sees grafting as a viable option. In fact, some seed companies now offer watermelon transplants grafted onto squash or bottle gourd rootstocks and some transplant facilities offer grafting services. There have been thorough analyses of various aspects of cucurbit grafting in other countries, but there is limited literature written in English. This review summarizes the state of the cucurbit grafting industry on a global level, translating work published in many different languages.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014