Topical Collection "Scion-Rootstock Interaction in Horticultural Crops: Physiological and Agronomic Implications"

Editors

Prof. Dr. Youssef Rouphael
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, 80055 Portici, Italy
Interests: greenhouse crops; vegetables production; hydroponics and aquaponics; plant nutrition; microgreens; sprouts; edible flowers; functional foods, grafting; microbial and non-microbial biostimulants; biofortification; vegetable quality related to preharvest factors; LED; urban agriculture; organic farming
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Colla
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: microgreens, sprouts; functional food; crop production; plant nutrition; fertilizers; organic farming; organic agriculture; nutrient management; biofertilizers; vegetable production; fruit quality; fertigation; hydroponics; vegetable crops; biofortification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Marios Kyriacou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Vegetable Crops, Agricultural Research Institute, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
Interests: horticulture; vegetable science; grafting; microgreens; fruit and vegetable quality; ripening physiology; postharvest physiology; carbohydrate metabolism; phytochemicals; functional compounds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Grafting is among the most ancient agricultural techniques, having been practiced since 2000 BCE. Grafting is the union of two or more pieces of living plant tissue, the root system (rootstock) and the shoot (scion), which are forced to develop vascular connection and grow as a single and unique plant. This agricultural technique is most commonly employed for perennial crop species (fruit trees, nuts and grapevines), and in the last four decades it has also expanded to vegetable species. Vegetable grafting is widely used in Cucurbitaceous (cucumber, melon and watermelon) and Solanaceous crops (eggplant, pepper and tomato) as well as Asteraceae species (artichoke). Grafting of perennial and seasonal crops provides opportunities to exploit natural genetic variation for specific root traits to influence the phenotype of the scion. By selecting a suitable rootstock, grafting can manipulate scion morphology and physiology and can manage biotic stresses including foliar and soil borne pathogens, arthropods, viral diseases, weeds and nematodes, as well as abiotic stresses such as thermal stress, drought, salinity, soil nutrient deficiency and imbalance, adverse soil pH (alkalinity and acidity), heavy metal contamination and organic pollutants. This Special Issue invites Original Research, Technology Report, Methods, Opinion, Perspectives and Reviews and Mini Reviews dissecting grafting as a sustainable agro technology for enhancing tolerance to abiotic stresses and reducing disease damage. Of interest are also potential contributions dealing with genetic resources for rootstock breeding, practices and technologies of rootstock breeding, rootstock-scion signaling as well as the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying graft compatibility. In addition, the effect of grafting on vegetable quality, practical applications and nursery management of grafted seedlings and specialty crops (e.g. artichoke and bean) will be considered within the general scope of the Special Issue. We highly believe that this compilation of high standard scientific papers on principles and practices of vegetable grafting will foster discussions within this important field.

Prof. Dr. Youssef Rouphael
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Colla
Dr. Marios Kyriacou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • perennial crop species
  • fruit trees
  • vegetables
  • breeding
  • rootstocks
  • ripening
  • abiotic/biotic stressors
  • fruit quality
  • physiological mechanism
  • bioactive content
  • compatibility
  • rootstock-scion interaction
  • hormonal signaling
  • nursery

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (9 papers)

2022

Jump to: 2021

Review
Compatible Graft Establishment in Fruit Trees and Its Potential Markers
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1981; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081981 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 746
Abstract
Plant grafting is a maneuver humans learned from nature and has been practiced since ancient times. The technique has long been applied for efficient propagation as well as for the modification of the traits of interest, such as stress tolerance, tree size, and [...] Read more.
Plant grafting is a maneuver humans learned from nature and has been practiced since ancient times. The technique has long been applied for efficient propagation as well as for the modification of the traits of interest, such as stress tolerance, tree size, and fruit quality. Since grafting can enhance the environmental tolerance and disease resistance of a plant, its techniques are now used not only in tree species but also among vegetables. Despite such wide advantages of grafting, however, the potential cause behind a compatible graft establishment (scion-rootstock connection) is yet to be fully understood. As compared to succulent herbaceous plants, woody plants often take a longer time for the graft-take and the plants may exhibit incompatible/unsuccessful graft-establishment symptoms within a period ranging from months to years. In this review, we discuss factors involved in a successful/compatible graft establishment along with bottlenecks of our understanding and future perspectives in a simplified manner- particularly focusing on incompatible graft formation on fruit trees based on earlier studies in the field. Full article
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Article
Improving Bell Pepper Crop Performance and Fruit Quality under Suboptimal Calcium Conditions by Grafting onto Tolerant Rootstocks
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071644 - 08 Jul 2022
Viewed by 677
Abstract
Calcium deficiency or its inefficient translocation to pepper fruits leads to considerable economic loss by reducing the number of marketable fruits. The present study proposes grafting as an environmentally friendly technique to effectively reduce such loss. A commercial variety (Al-cudia F1; V) was [...] Read more.
Calcium deficiency or its inefficient translocation to pepper fruits leads to considerable economic loss by reducing the number of marketable fruits. The present study proposes grafting as an environmentally friendly technique to effectively reduce such loss. A commercial variety (Al-cudia F1; V) was grafted onto two pepper (Capsicum annum L.) accessions (V/A6 and V/A8), a hybrid rootstock (V/N) and was also self-grafted (V/V). All rootstock–scion combinations were cultivated under greenhouse conditions with optimal and suboptimal Ca supply and assessed for fruit yield and biomass production, gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence, mineral concentration in leaves and fruits as well as several fruit quality parameters. The V/N plants demonstrated an enhanced capacity for increased biomass, higher yield and number of commercial fruits and greater mean fruit weight compared with the other rootstock–scion combinations. These improvements are attributed primarily to increased intrinsic water efficiency. Additionally, a significantly higher Ca concentration in leaves was found under suboptimal Ca conditions in the V/N combination than that found in the other rootstock–scion combinations indicating a higher capacity for Ca uptake and translocation. Under the same conditions, the concentration of organic acids in fruits, such as citric and tartaric, which impact the organoleptic quality, was also higher in V/N plants. Consequently, we can conclude that grafting pepper onto tolerant rootstocks is a successful tool for ameliorating the negative impact of suboptimal Ca conditions on pepper crop performance and fruit quality. Full article
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Article
Application of Phenomics to Elucidate the Influence of Rootstocks on Drought Response of Tomato
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1529; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071529 - 26 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 897
Abstract
The cultivation of nutritionally and economically important crops like tomato are often threatened by dry spells due to drought as these crops largely depend on an assured water supply. The magnitude and intensity of drought is predicted to intensify under climate change scenarios, [...] Read more.
The cultivation of nutritionally and economically important crops like tomato are often threatened by dry spells due to drought as these crops largely depend on an assured water supply. The magnitude and intensity of drought is predicted to intensify under climate change scenarios, particularly in semi-arid regions, where water is already a scarce resource. Hence, it is imperative to devise strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of drought on tomato through improvement in the plant’s efficiency to utilise the moisture in the growth medium. Since the root is the entry point for water, its intrinsic structure and functions play a crucial role in maintaining the soil–water–plant continuum during moisture deficit at the rhizosphere. Grafting offers a great opportunity to replace the root system of the cultivated tomato plants with that of wild species and hence provide a rapid solution to modulate root system architecture in contrast to the time-consuming conventional breeding approach. However, the success in developing the best graft combination of cultivated tomato and rootstock depends on the source of rootstock and selection methods. In this study, we used a high throughput phenomics facility to assess the efficiency of tomato, grafted on the rootstocks of different genetic backgrounds, at different levels of moisture in the soil. Rootstocks included tomato cultivars and the hybrids, derived from the crosses involving wild relatives, as donor parents. Among the rootstocks, an interspecific (Solanum lycopersicum × S. pennellii) derivative RF4A was highly efficient in terms of productive use of water. The RF4A rootstock-grafted plants were more conservative in water use with higher plant water status through relatively better stomatal regulation and hence were more efficient in generating greater biomass under water stress conditions. These plants could maintain a higher level of PSII efficiency, signifying better photosynthetic efficiency even under water stress. The distinct response of interspecific rootstock, RF4A, to water stress can be ascribed to the effective root system acquired from a wild parent (S. pennellii), and hence efficient water uptake. Overall, we demonstrated the efficient use of a phenomics platform and developed a protocol to identify promising rootstock–scion combinations of tomato for optimization of water use. Full article
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Article
Yield, Flower Quality, and Photo-Physiological Responses of Cut Rose Flowers Grafted onto Three Different Rootstocks in Summer Season
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1468; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061468 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
The thermal stress caused by high temperatures on cut rose flowers grown in greenhouses is a major environmental impact that reduces the yield of growing cut rose flowers during summer. To confirm the resistance of grafted cut rose flowers to high-temperature stress, roses [...] Read more.
The thermal stress caused by high temperatures on cut rose flowers grown in greenhouses is a major environmental impact that reduces the yield of growing cut rose flowers during summer. To confirm the resistance of grafted cut rose flowers to high-temperature stress, roses were grown in a greenhouse during the summer season and analyzed for yield, quality, root activity, and photo-physiological characteristics. A morphological change was observed in the stomata of the grafted cut rose flowers, which were larger in size than the scion or rootstocks. As a result of cultivating cut rose flowers by lowering the temperature of the greenhouse through shading in summer, it was confirmed that all of the scions, rootstocks, and grafted cut rose flowers were not in a stressed state by observing the maximal quantum yield of primary photochemistry (FV/FM) values on the chlorophyll-a fluorescence. However, the rate of electron transport flux from the primary acceptor (QA) to the secondary acceptor (QB) per the photosystem II reaction center (ET0/RC) value was found to be significantly higher on grafted cut rose flowers, compared with that of the scions. The efficiencies of the photosynthesis rate, the transpiration rate, and the stomatal conductance were increased when grafted compared with non-grafted. When the root activity was confirmed by the formazan content, it was found that the root activity was improved grafting. Furthermore, when grafted, morphological changes such as flower size and the number of petals on spray roses were also observed. Although there was a difference depending on the type of rootstock, the yield of the grafted cut rose flowers increased by 11–20%, compared with the scion rose. Therefore, grafting cultivation during the summer season with high temperatures is an effective method in terms of photo-physiological response and yield. Full article
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Article
Physiological and Agronomical Responses of ‘Vairo’ Almond and ‘Big Top’ Nectarine Cultivars Grafted onto Different Prunus Rootstocks and Grown under Semiarid Mediterranean Conditions
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040821 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
Two trials were conducted under Mediterranean conditions to monitor several physiological indicators before harvest (leaf chlorophyll concentration, quantum yield of photosystem II electron transport, stem water potential, and stomatal conductance) and some agronomic performance parameters before and at harvest (vigor, fruit growth, fruit [...] Read more.
Two trials were conducted under Mediterranean conditions to monitor several physiological indicators before harvest (leaf chlorophyll concentration, quantum yield of photosystem II electron transport, stem water potential, and stomatal conductance) and some agronomic performance parameters before and at harvest (vigor, fruit growth, fruit size, fruit weight, and yield), of ‘Vairo’ almond and ‘Big Top’ nectarine cultivars grafted onto eight Prunus rootstocks, six of which are common in both cultivars. For both ‘Vairo’ almond and ‘Big Top’ nectarine cultivars, factors including rootstock, date, and the interaction between rootstock and date, from fruit set to harvest were evaluated. Significantly affected were certain physiological and agronomical traits which were evaluated before harvest, with stem water potential being the parameter affected by interaction in both cultivars. In fact, the stem water potential presented low levels in Rootpac-20 and high levels in Rootpac-40 for both cultivars. With regard to the other physiological traits evaluated during the growing period, changes in stomatal conductance were observed in ‘Vairo’, but not in ‘Big Top’. Comparing rootstocks throughout the season, Rootpac-40 and IRTA-1 exhibited the highest stomatal conductance values, whereas the lowest was observed in Rootpac-R; Rootpac-20 and Ishtara also presented low values. Regarding agronomical traits at harvest, GF-677 and IRTA-1 produced high yields for ‘Vairo’ almond cultivar, whereas Rootpac-40 and Ishtara performed better with ‘Big Top’ nectarine cultivar. Full article
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Article
Towards Better Grafting: SCoT and CDDP Analyses for Prediction of the Tomato Rootstocks Performance under Drought Stress
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010153 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
This study aims to predict the behavior of different tomato rootstocks under drought stress conditions. SCoT and CDDP analyses were employed to characterize the genetic relatedness among a commercial drought-sensitive tomato hybrid (cv. Bark) and four wild tomato accessions (LA2711, LA1995, LA3845, and [...] Read more.
This study aims to predict the behavior of different tomato rootstocks under drought stress conditions. SCoT and CDDP analyses were employed to characterize the genetic relatedness among a commercial drought-sensitive tomato hybrid (cv. Bark) and four wild tomato accessions (LA2711, LA1995, LA3845, and LA4285) known for their tolerance to adverse conditions. The Bark plants were grafted onto the aforementioned wild accessions and self-grafted as control, and then the behavior of all graft unions was followed under normal and drought stress conditions. Our results showed a general genotype-dependent better growth and yield of heterografts than autografts under all growth conditions. Furthermore, clustering analysis based on growth, yield quantity and quality traits, and the leaf content of minerals, ABA, GA3, and proline, in addition to the activity of APX, POD, and DHAR reflected the same grouping pattern of the studied rootstocks exhibited by SCoT and CDDP. The identical grouping pattern supports the utilization of SCoT and CDDP as a robust screening tool helpful to predict the physiological and agronomical behavior of grafting on different tomato rootstocks. Furthermore, grafting could be a cost-efficient alternative method to improve drought tolerance in sensitive tomato genotypes. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2022

Article
Combined Influence of Grafting and Type of Protected Environment Structure on Agronomic and Physiological Traits of Single- and Cluster-Fruit-Bearing Cucumber Hybrids
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081604 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Protected vegetable cultivation is a fast-growing sector in which grafting plays a crucial role for success. Cucumber is predominantly grown under protected conditions. The popular slicing (mini) cucumber comprises two segments, single- and cluster-fruit-bearing. In the present study, the performance of select fruit-bearing [...] Read more.
Protected vegetable cultivation is a fast-growing sector in which grafting plays a crucial role for success. Cucumber is predominantly grown under protected conditions. The popular slicing (mini) cucumber comprises two segments, single- and cluster-fruit-bearing. In the present study, the performance of select fruit-bearing hybrids grafted as scions onto commercial Cucurbita hybrid rootstock ‘NS-55’ was evaluated under three different low-cost protected structures in arid regions. With respect to type of protected structure, cucumber performance was superior under a naturally ventilated polyhouse (NVP) than an insect net house (INH) or a shade net house (SNH). Micro-climate parameters inside NVP (air temperature, RH and PAR) were more congenial for cucumber than those in net houses, thereby facilitating improved physiology (chlorophyll fluorescence, chlorophyll and plant water potential) and leaf mineral status. Grafting invariably improved growth and yield parameters under all protected structures. Overall plant performance was better in the grafted cluster-fruit-bearing hybrid ‘Terminator’ than the single-fruit-bearing hybrid ‘Nefer’ or their non-grafted counterparts. Furthermore, NVP was found to be superior to net houses for water productivity, and grafted plants were more water use efficient than their counterpart non-grafted plants. Thus, NVP can be considered a suitable low-cost protected structure in conjunction with grafting to boost cucumber crop and water productivity in arid regions. Full article
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Article
Productive Characteristics and Fruit Quality Traits of Cherry Tomato Hybrids as Modulated by Grafting on Different Solanum spp. Rootstocks under Ralstonia solanacearum Infested Greenhouse Soil
Agronomy 2021, 11(7), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071311 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Grafting is increasingly becoming an indispensable tool that minimizes the risks associated with intensive vegetable production systems, including soil-borne diseases. This study assesses the performance of two cherry tomato hybrids (‘Cheramy’ and ‘Sheeja’) grafted onto three tomato and five eggplant local rootstock genotypes [...] Read more.
Grafting is increasingly becoming an indispensable tool that minimizes the risks associated with intensive vegetable production systems, including soil-borne diseases. This study assesses the performance of two cherry tomato hybrids (‘Cheramy’ and ‘Sheeja’) grafted onto three tomato and five eggplant local rootstock genotypes (cultivated/wild) under Ralstonia solanacearum (bacterial wilt)-infested greenhouse soil. The impact of grafting on growth, yield and fruit physical quality was mainly influenced by the response of rootstocks to disease resistance. The non-grafted plants of both the cultivars were severely affected by bacterial wilt, thus presenting high susceptibility to disease. Eggplant rootstocks imparted moderate to high resistance against bacterial wilt in both the scions, while tomato (cultivated or wild) rootstocks did not improve disease resistance, except ‘Anagha’, which provided resistance to scion cv. ‘Cheramy’. In general, scion cv. ‘Cheramy’, grafted or non-grafted, showed superior growth, yield and fruit quality compared to ‘Sheeja’. The most productive graft combinations for both the cultivars involved resistant rootstocks, i.e., ‘Sheeja’ onto eggplant rootstock ‘Surya’, and ‘Cheramy’ onto tomato rootstock ‘Anagha’. Fruit quality attributes such as ascorbic acid and lycopene contents were considerably higher, and the total soluble solids (TSS) content was considerably lower in scion cv. ‘Cheramy’, whether grafted or non-grafted, than those involving scion cv. ‘Sheeja’. The grafting effect on fruit chemical quality attributes was not promising, except grafting ‘Sheeja’ onto ‘Sopim’ for TSS, ‘Sheeja’ onto ‘Sotor’ for lycopene and ‘Cheramy’ onto ‘Ponny’ for total phenols, though no clear connection with disease incidence was in these grafts. Conclusively, eggplant rootstock imparted wilt resistance, while both eggplant and tomato rootstock grafting was beneficial to both scion cultivars in boosting the overall production and economic gains, especially for ‘Cheramy’ grafted onto ‘Anagha’ rootstock under bacterial wilt infested soil of greenhouse. Full article
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Article
Physio-Anatomical Study of Polyploid Watermelon Grafted by Different Methods
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050913 - 06 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
Watermelon is one of the most desirable vegetable crops in the world. Recently, grafting is common in watermelons worldwide, but not all grafting methods are compatible with polyploids. In this study, diploid, triploid, and tetraploid from one watermelon variety, “Mi Mei”, were grafted [...] Read more.
Watermelon is one of the most desirable vegetable crops in the world. Recently, grafting is common in watermelons worldwide, but not all grafting methods are compatible with polyploids. In this study, diploid, triploid, and tetraploid from one watermelon variety, “Mi Mei”, were grafted on the “Xijiaqiangsheng” squash rootstock to study the effect of genome duplication on graft compatibility. Three grafting methods (splice, hole, and tongue) were used to determine graft compatibility. Significant differences in survival rates, hormones, antioxidants (AOX), sugars, and starch contents were observed between compatible/incompatible combinations. Compatible combinations with high survival rates showed high levels of hormones, AOX, carbohydrates, and low hydrogen peroxide H2O2 compared to incompatible plants. The hole grafting method was more efficient with diploid, while splice was efficient with a tetraploid, and both methods can be used for triploid. Compatibility is a combined effect of hormone, carbohydrate, and antioxidant activities. We predict that compatibility is a complex process and that further molecular studies must be performed to dig deep into this phenomenon. Full article
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