The selection of intra-inter specific Cucurbita rootstocks for grafted melon seedlings
This study was conducted to select promising Turkish local Cucurbita rootstocks among intraspecific and interspecific hybrids for grafted melon seedling based on hybrid success rate, hypocotyl traits and graft compatibility. Rooting potentials, root system architecture and plant growth parameters of the rootstocks grafted with melon were also evaluated. Two lines of C. maxima (male parent) and eleven lines of C. moschata (female parent) at S5 generation were used. In addition, six winter squash lines were used as male parent and six pumpkin lines were used as female parent in intraspecific hybridization program. Intraspecific hybrid combinations had quite high number of seeds per fruit as compared to interspecific hybrid combinations. The highest number of seeds per fruit was obtained from HMO2 × OMO2 (359) and OMO5 × HMO8 (314) hybrid combinations. Hypocotyl lengths of all hybrid cucurbit rootstock combinations ranged from 32.96 mm (RS17) to 73.35 mm (RS8) and hypocotyl thicknesses ranged from 2.71 mm (RS2) to 3.55 mm (RS8). Graft success rates varied between 96.6 – 100% in winter squash and pumpkin intraspecific hybrids and between 87.1 – 100% in interspecific hybrids. Significant differences were seen in root architecture parameters (root length, root volume, mean root diameter, root surface area and root dry matter weight) of intraspecific and interspecies hybrid Cucurbita lines. The findings of the study indicated that the intraspecific and interspecific local cucurbit rootstock candidates developed within the rootstock breeding program showed promise as viable options for commercial use as rootstocks for grafted melon seedlings. Research about the effects of selected intraspecific and interspecific hybrid Cucurbita rootstock candidates on earliness, fruit quality and yield parameters of grafted melon will continue.
Keywords: Cucurbita maxima; Cucurbita moschata; Rootstock breeding; Root system architecture; Melon
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