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Eggplant relatives as sources of variation for developing new rootstocks: Effects of grafting on eggplant yield and fruit apparent quality and composition

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We propose the utilization of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) interspecific hybrids derived from crosses with closely related species as an approach for developing new improved rootstocks for eggplant. Here we investigate rootstock effects on fruit yield, apparent quality and proximate and mineral composition of S. melongena ‘Black Beauty’ (BB) scions grafted on interspecific hybrid rootstocks developed from crosses of S. melongena with Solanum incanum L. (SI×SM) and Solanum aethiopicum L. (SM×SA). The results are compared with non-grafted (BB control) and self-grafted (BB/BB) controls and with S. melongena ‘Black Beauty’ scions grafted onto Solanum torvum Sw. (STO) and Solanum macrocarpon L. (SMA) rootstocks. All treatments were grown in a soil naturally infested with root-knot nematodes (mostly Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood). SI×SM and SM×SA interspecific hybrids had high germination (≥90%) and total graft success (100%). Contrary to what occurred with all other treatments, no plants from scions grafted onto these hybrid rootstocks died during the experiment. In particular, the SI×SM hybrid rootstock conferred the highest vigour to the scion, which resulted in the highest values for fruit earliness and early and total yield. Little difference was observed among treatments for apparent fruit quality traits, except for a greater fruit calyx length and prickliness of fruit grafted onto SMA rootstocks. A similar result was obtained for fruit composition where phenolics content was higher in fruit from plants grafted onto SMA rootstocks. Grafting eggplant onto interspecific eggplant hybrids, especially on the SI×SM hybrid, has proved advantageous for eggplant production, as the high vigour and good compatibility of the rootstock with scion results in improved early and total yield without negative effects on apparent fruit quality or composition. Interspecific hybrids represent an alternative to the commonly used STO rootstock, which is a wild species with irregular germination.
Carmina Gisbert , Jaime Prohens , María D. Raigón , John R. Stommel , Fernando Nuez
Batch:207 annotated on 2013-05-08T13:36:44Z
Scientia horticulturae 2011 February 25 v.128 no.1
Elsevier B.V.
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed