Effects of low temperature storage on growth and transplant quality of non-grafted and grafted cantaloupe-type muskmelon seedlings

Ian Justus, Chieri Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Grafting is a unique horticultural technology that allows the grower to select an alternate, compatible root system with natural disease resistance for their desired crop. Short-term storage of grafted seedlings under low temperature may extend the production window of grafted seedlings, reduce the labor input and increase production of grafted seedlings with a small propagation capacity. To evaluate the low temperature storage conditions, Cucumis melo 'Olympic Gold' seedlings were grafted onto Cucurbita maxima x Cucurbita moschata 'Tetsukabuto' rootstock and stored for a period of 2 or 4 weeks at 9, 12, or 15 °C under 12 μmol m-2 s-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF). The study demonstrated that grafted seedlings could be stored at 12 °C for 4 weeks without significant dry mass accumulation or effects on post-storage growth and development. Grafted seedlings stored at 15 °C for 4 weeks had a significant increase in dry mass and stem elongation; this was not observed for the non-grafted seedlings stored under the same conditions, suggesting that the rootstock enhanced the scion growth at lower temperatures than optimal for muskmelon. Storing muskmelon seedlings at 9 °C caused chilling damage but the damage was pronounced for non-grafted seedlings than grafted seedlings. 'Tetsukabuto' rootstock, an interspecific squash, presumably has a chilling tolerance and increased the storability of muskmelon seedlings. Further optimization is needed but there is potential for using this technique as a tool for mass production of grafted muskmelon seedlings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Volume125
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 31 2010

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Keywords

  • Controlled environment
  • Cucurbit
  • Grafted seedling production
  • Seedling storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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