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Agronomy 2018, 8(11), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8110259

Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Watermelon Grafted onto 10 Wild Watermelon Rootstocks under Low Nitrogen Conditions

1
Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of Education/College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
2
Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha 40100, Pakistan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural and Floricultural Crops)
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Abstract

Nitrogen availability is the key determinant of plant growth and development. The improvement of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops is an important consideration. In fruit and vegetables, such as watermelon, rootstocks are often utilized to control soil borne diseases and improve plant performance to a range of abiotic stresses. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of 10 wild watermelon rootstocks (ZXG-516, ZXG-941, ZXG-945, ZXG-1250, ZXG-1251, ZXG-1558, ZXG-944, ZXG-1469, ZXG-1463, and ZXG-952) to improve the plant growth and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of the watermelon cultivar: Zaojia 8424. Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is a comprehensive parameter that represents the ability of a plant to absorb nitrogen (N) and convert the supplied resources to the dry biomass. Wild watermelon rootstocks substantially improved plant growth, rate of photosynthesis, stomatal conductivity, intercellular carbon dioxide concentration, rate of transpiration, nitrogen uptake efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency, and nitrogen utilization efficiency of watermelon. NUE of watermelon grafted onto ZXG-945, ZXG-1250, and ZXG-941 was improved by up to 67%, 77%, and 168%, respectively, at optimum N supply. Similarly, at low N supply (0.2 mM), NUE of watermelon grafted onto ZXG-1558 and ZXG-516 was improved by up to 104% and 175%, respectively. In conclusion, grafting onto some wild rootstocks can improve nitrogen use efficiency of watermelon, and this improved nitrogen use efficiency could be attributed to better N uptake efficiency of wild watermelon rootstocks. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetable grafting; Citrullus lanatus; wild watermelon; nitrogen use efficiency; ion uptake vegetable grafting; Citrullus lanatus; wild watermelon; nitrogen use efficiency; ion uptake
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Nawaz, M.A.; Han, X.; Chen, C.; Zheng, Z.; Shireen, F.; Bie, Z.; Huang, Y. Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Watermelon Grafted onto 10 Wild Watermelon Rootstocks under Low Nitrogen Conditions. Agronomy 2018, 8, 259.

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