Effects of grafting and cytokinin-induced fruit setting on colour and sugar-content traits in glasshouse-grown triploid watermelon
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AutorLopez-Galarza,S.; San Bautista,A.; Perez,D. M.; Miguel,A.; Baixauli,C.; Pascual,B.; Maroto,J. V.; Guardiola,J. L.
The effect on fruit quality of grafting and fruit set treatments, was determined in the triploid watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thun.) Matsum. and Nakai) cultivar 'Reina de Corazones' grown in a heated greenhouse. Grafting the scion onto 'Shintoza' (Cucurbita maxima X Cucurbita moschata) rootstock and setting fruit through application of the synthetic cytokinin CPPU [1-(2-chloro-4-pyridyl)-3-phenylurea] retarded the accumulation of sugar and development of the flesh colour of the fruit, compared to fruit from non-grafted, pollinated plants. The effects of grafting and of CPPU application on sugar accumulation were additive. At commercial maturity, the fruit of grafted and/or CPPU-treated plants had lower total soluble solids and sugar concentrations, and lower sucrose to hexose ratios, than fruit from control plants. Fruit from CPPU-treated plants also had a weaker red colour than fruit set by pollination. Despite this loss of quality, fruit from grafted plants, set with CPPU and grown in a heated greenhouse, had a total soluble solids concentration similar to fruit from pollinated, non-grafted plants, grown outdoors.