Growth and yield of grafted cucumbers in soil infested with root-knot nematodes

Smiljana Goreta Ban1, Katja Žanic, Gvozden Dumicic1*, Emilija Raspudic2, Gabriela Vuletin Selak1, Dean Ban3
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of rootstocks on the growth and yield of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants in soils infested with root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) Cucumber ‘Adrian’ was grown with its own roots or was grafted onto three rootstocks of Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl. (‘Emphasis’, ‘S-1’, and ‘Gourd’), two interspecific hybrid rootstocks of Cucurbita maxima Duchesne × C. moschata Duchesne (‘Strong Tosa’ and ‘RS 841 Improved’) and zucchini Cucurbita pepo L. (‘Romanesco Zucchini’). The experiments were conducted in commercial greenhouse, with cucumber grafted onto three rootstocks in the first season and onto six rootstocks in the second spring-summer season. The number of leaves was considerably affected by the rootstock in both seasons, and was the highest for the plants grafted onto interspecific rootstocks (28.0 in the first and 44.9 in the second season). The plants grafted onto ‘Strong Tosa’ had higher total number of fruits (19.9) and yield (5.38 kg) compared to other rootstocks or non-grafted plants in first season, and the same result was found for two interspecific rootstocks in the second season (6.96 kg and more than 28.9 fruits per plant). The total soluble solids, pH and electrical conductivity of the fruit were not affected by rootstock, while titratable acidity changed with the rootstock type. The grafting of cucumber plants onto different rootstocks was confirmed as an acceptable non-chemical method to compete with the limitations of soils infected with root-knot nematodes, but the effect was highly dependent on the choice of the rootstock.
Keywords: Cucumis sativus, fruit quality, gall, greenhouse, Meloidogyne spp., rootstocks.
1Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation, Put Duilova 11, Split 21000, Croatia. *Corresponding author (gdumicic@krs.hr). 2University of Osijek, Faculty of Agriculture, Trg sv. Trojstva 3, Osijek 31 000, Croatia.
3Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, Carla Huguesa 8, Poreč 52440, Croatia.