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Open AccessArticle

Assessing Quantitative Criteria for Characterization of Quality Categories for Grafted Watermelon Seedlings

1
School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Agris S.A., Kleidi, 59300 Imathia, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2019, 5(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5010016
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract

Vegetable grafting is a practice employed worldwide since it helps prevent biotic and abiotic disorders, and watermelon is one of the most important species grafted. The objective of this study was to set critical limits for the characterization of quality categories for grafted watermelon seedlings. Specifically, watermelon (scion) seedlings were grafted onto squash (rootstock) seedlings, moved into a healing chamber for 7 days, and then transferred into a greenhouse for seven more days. At 7 and 14 days after grafting, experienced personnel assessed grafted seedling quality by categorizing them. The categories derived were Optimum and Acceptable for both time intervals, plus Not acceptable at 14 days after grafting. Optimum seedlings showed greater leaf area, and shoot and root fresh and dry weights at both time intervals. Moreover, they had greater stem diameter, root-to-shoot ratio, shoot dry weight-to-length ratio and Dickson’s quality index compared to the other category at 14 days after grafting. Therefore, Optimum seedlings would likely develop into marketable plants of high quality, with better establishment in the field. Not acceptable seedlings showed considerably inferior development, while Acceptable seedlings were between the other categories, but were still marketable. View Full-Text
Keywords: Citrullus lanatus; vegetable grafting; optimal production; marketable seedlings; quality indicators Citrullus lanatus; vegetable grafting; optimal production; marketable seedlings; quality indicators
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Bantis, F.; Koukounaras, A.; Siomos, A.; Menexes, G.; Dangitsis, C.; Kintzonidis, D. Assessing Quantitative Criteria for Characterization of Quality Categories for Grafted Watermelon Seedlings. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 16.

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