Production of quince nursery trees by different grafting methods/Producao de mudas de marmeleiro por diferentes metodos de enxertia.
Quince trees are normally propagated by cuttings taken during the pruning season at the end of the hibernation. However, the low vigor of this material has resulted in slow initial development of these plants obtained through rooted cuttings, leading to difficulties in quince cultivation in Southern Brazil (ABRAHAO et al., 1996).
The 'Japones' quince (Chaenomeles sinensis Koehne) has been evaluated for over 20 years in Brazil, and has become an adequate alternative for quince growers, especially because of its rusticity. A protocol of quince seedlings production was developed by grafted in the 'Japones' rootstock (ABRAHAO et al., 1996; CELANT et al., 2010).
Preliminary research carried out in order to define a propagation protocol for 'Japones' quince through cutting, indicated low rooting capacity (PIO et al., 2004; 2007b). Nevertheless, because of the high seed number per fruit (above 180), high seed germination and seed emergency (above 90 and 70%, respectively), and high seedling vigor in the nursery, 'Japones' quince rootstock plants have been routinely produced through seeds (ABRAHAO et al., 1996).
Until the moment the grafting is accomplished in the winter by cleft grafting (PIO et al., 2008a). Quince 'Japones' shows high vigor throughout the rootstocks growing, requiring only nine months to be ready for grafting (PIO et al., 2007a). Once the seeds are extracted from the fruits in April, in January the grafting could be carried and the seedlings are then able to be brought to the field in May, thus reducing the demanded time to produce dumb and the period of the orchard formation. However, the best grafting period and grafting method must be determined for this rootstock.
Therefore, this research evaluated three grafting methods of five quince scion cultivars on 'Japones' quince rootstock.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Seeds of ripe fruits of 'Japones' quince trees cultivated (Chaenomeles sinensis Koehne) at Unioeste germplasm collection, Marechal Candido Rondon, PR, Brazil, were extracted in April 2007, washed in tap water, and dried in the shade for 48 hours. Seeds were then placed between two thin wet cotton layers, in 90 x 15mm Petri dishes, and maintained in Biological Oxigen Demand (BOD) chamber for 30 days, at 4[degrees]C, as ENTELMANN et al. (2009). After this period, seeds were distributed in 72-cell polystyrene trays (120 [cm.sup.3] of capacity) filled with vermiculite-derived potting mix. After 60 days, seedlings were transferred to 3-liter plastic bags (30 x 18cm), filled with potting mix containing soil, sand, and manure (1:1:1 v/v/v).
Seedlings were maintained in the nursery covered with a 50% shade-screen and were irrigated periodically. The seedlings stayed in nursery for six months and were grafted in the summer, in the middle of January, with 90cm of minimum height and around 8mm of diameter, 15cm above the potting mix surface.
The experiment design was a 3x5 factorial (grafting methods - summer budding, winter budding and cleft grafting x quince cultivars - 'Provence', 'Mendoza Inta-37', 'Portugal', 'Smyrna' and 'Japones'), in randomized blocks with four replicates of ten grafts per plot.
Part of the rootstocks were bud grafted (summer budding) with the quince cultivars 'Provence' (Cydonia oblonga Mill.), 'Mendoza Inta-37' (C. oblonga), 'Portugal' (C. oblonga), 'Smyrna' (C. oblonga), and 'Japones' (Chaenomeles sinensis). Buds were tied with transparent plastic strips. After 30 days, strips were removed and the aerial part of rootstocks was cut above the grafting point.
In July 2008, another group of 'Japones' rootstock quince plants were bud grafted according with the same protocol (winter budding). At that time, another batch of rootstock plants were also grafted by cleft grafting method, using three-bud scion sticks. Grafts were tied with plastic strips and protected with transparent plastic bags (15cm of length and 3 cm of diameter). Scion sticks were kept covered for 30 days to avoid water loss.
Graft survival rate, expressed as the percentage of sprouted grafts or buds, was evaluated 60 days after grafting for the three grafting methods. Scion shoot length and diameter were recorded 90 and 150 days after grafting. All data collected were submitted to analysis of variance and the means were compared by the Tukey test (P=0.05).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Cleft grafting resulted in the highest graft survival rate, as compared with the budding method in the winter and in the summer for most scion cultivars, except 'Provence' cultivar, which presented graft survival rate of 72% when grafted by cleft grafting, and graft survival rate of 75% by winter budding (Table 1). 'Provence' cultivar presented no sprouted bud when the summer budding method was performed.
However, Provence cultivar showed a better development when grafted by cleft grafting, in comparison with the winter budding method. Ninety days after grafting, the average length of the shoot was 26.5cm by cleft grafting and only 6.1cm by winter budding (Table 1). In general, the quince cultivars grafted by cleft grafting presented better development leaching average shoots length, higher than 35cm, 150 days after grafting. Only Mendoza Inta-37 and Portugal cultivars presented shoots length not significantly different 150 days after grafting, when grafted by cleft grafting and summer budding. However, the summer budding methods should not be recommended, once it showed only a 7% graft survival rate for the Mendonza Inta-37 quince and 25% for the 'Portugal'cultivar (Table 1).
No major differences were registered in scion stem length and scion stem diameter between cleft grafting and budding methods 90 days after grafting (Tables 1 and 2). However, 150 days after grafting, 'Japones' quince had higher scion stem length when cleft grafted as compared with the other cultivars (Table 1). 'Japones' quince cleft grafted on itself also had higher scion stem diameter when compared to other grafting methods (winter and summer methods) (Table 2).
Grafting is one of the critical stages in the nursery tree production, in which the efficiency is dependent on the quality of the rootstock, scion sticks and buds, grafting manual efficiency, and climatic conditions. The grafting season and grafting methods are among the external factors that can affect the graft survival rate. Usually, temperate fruit crops have better graft survival rate when the process is performed by cleft grafting during the hibernal period (HARTMANN et al., 2002). In this context, the current paper results are in agreement with the cited authors, once the cleft grafting performed in winter has propitiated better development of the quince shoots. Besides, grafting performed in winter makes possible to harvest the scions simultaneously with the pruning usually performed in other temperate fruits at this season.
Other temperate fruits are also grafted by the same winter grafting method. For pear trees grafted onto 'Taiwan Nashi-C' rootstock, grafting is usually accomplished in the winter (cleft grafting) or in the summer (budding). However, the cleft grafting favors higher graft survival rate and faster shoot development (BARBOSA et al., 1996; 1998). Other studies have reported the production of pear trees grafted onto quince by budding in the winter (ERMEL et al., 1999).
On the other hand, in this research, budding accomplished in the summer led to higher sprout length, in spite of the smaller bud sprout percentage. The higher scion sprout vigor in summer can be explained by higher temperatures in that season considering that trees were cultivated in an open-field nursery, protected only with a shade-screen.
When 'Japones' quince was grafted on itself, cleft grafting lead to 100% graft survival rate, as compared with 30 and 10% for winter budding and summer budding, respectively. Moreover, in this case, scion length and scion diameter were also significantly higher in grafts accomplished by cleft grafting 150 days after grafting (Tables 1 and 2).
These results observed for the quince 'Japones', indicates that quince trees should be grafted by the cleft grafting method, equal PIO et al. (2009). Quince 'Japones' shows high vigor throughout the rootstocks growing, requiring only nine months to be ready for grafting (PIO et al., 2007a). Once the seeds are extracted from the fruits in April, they should be stored until October when the dormancy break will be performed, so the rootstocks will be ready in July to be grafted by the cleft grafting method. The cleft grafting method will depend on the cultivar, but in general all cultivars will present a proper development at nursery (PIO et al., 2008a; 2008b).
The results obtained herein show that cleft grafting is an appropriate method for grafting quince seedlings, leading to higher graft survival rate and better scion shoot development for all quince cultivars as compared to budding. On the other hand, winter budding showed higher graft survival rate, but slower scion development as compared with summer budding. Follow-up studies may indicate better alternatives for improve scion sprouting on trees grafted by budding.
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Rafael Pio (I) * Edvan Alves Chagas (II) Wilson Barbosa (III) Maria Luiza Sant'anna Tucci (III) Francisco de Assis Alves Mourao Filho (IV) Marcelo Angelo Campagnolo (V)
(I) Departamento de. Agricultura, Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA), 37200-000, Lavras, MG, Brasil. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. * Autor para correspondencia.
(II) Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria (EMBRAPA/CPAFRR), Boa Vista, RR, Brasil.
(III) Instituto Agronomico (IAC), Centro Experimental Central (CEC), Campinas, SP, Brasil.
(IV) Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ), Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Piracicaba, SP, Brasil.
(V) Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Parana (UNIOESTE), Marechal Candido Rondon, PR, Brasil.
Table 1--Scion graft survival rate 60 days after grafting, and scion graft length 90 and 150 days after grafting of five quince cultivars grafted by cleft grafting (CG), winter budding (WB) and summer budding (SB) on 'Japones' quince rootstock. Marechal Candido Rondon, PR, Brazil, Unioeste, 2009. Quince Scion graft survival rate cultivars 60 days after grafting CG WB SB % 'Smyrna' 100 Aa 20 Bb 5 Ca 'M. I-37' 97 Aa 15 Bb 7 Ba 'Provence' 72 Ab 75 Aa 0 Ba 'Portugal' 90 Aa 25 Bb 25 Ba 'Japones' 100 Aa 30 Bb 10 Ba CV (%) 17.1 Quince Scion graft length cultivars 90 days after grafting CG WB SB cm 'Smyrna' 28.2 Aa 1.1 Ca 10.5 Bb 'M. I-37' 24.0 Aa 1.5 Ba 20.6 Aa 'Provence' 26.5 Aa 6.1 Ba 0 Bb 'Portugal' 32.6 Aa 5.1 Ba 26.0 Aa 'Japones' 39.7 Aa 2.3 Ca 20.3 Ba CV (%) 23.7 Quince Scion graft length cultivars 150 days after grafting CG WB SB cm 'Smyrna' 35.0 Ab 7.3 Cc 20.7 Ba 'M. I-37' 39.2 Ab 14.8 Bb 32.5 Aa 'Provence' 43.0 Ab 26.2 Ba 0 Cb 'Portugal' 48.2 Ab 14.3 Bb 47.5 Aa 'Japones' 65.7 Aa 20.0 Bb 27.8 Ba CV (%) 21.2 Means followed by the same capital letters (lines) or by the same lower case letters (columns) do not differ by Tukey Test (P = 0.05) Table 2--Scion graft stem diameter of five quince cultivars grafted by cleft grafting (CG), winter budding (WB) and summer budding (SB) on 'Japones' quince rootstock 90 and 150 days after grafting. Marechal Candido Rondon, PR, Brazil, Unioeste, 2009. Quince Scion graft stem diameter cultivars 90 days after grafting 150 days after grafting CG WB SB CG WB SB mm 'Smyrna' 3.5 Aa 1.0 Ba 1.3 Bb 4.6 Aa 1.8 Ba 2.5 Ba 'M. I-37' 3.0 Aa 0.8 Ba 1.9 Aa 4.9 Aa 2.1 Ba 3.0 Ba 'Provence' 3.3 Aa 1.7 Ba 0 Cb 5.3 Aa 3.3 Ba 0 Cb 'Portugal' 3.3 Aa 0.9 Ba 3.3 Aa 5.3 Aa 2.1 Ba 5.0 Aa 'Japones' 3.7 Aa 1.0 Ca 2.1 Ba 5.7 Aa 2.0 Ba 3.0 Ba CV (%) 25.6 27.0 Means followed by the same capital letters (lines) or by the same lower case letters (columns) do not differ by Tukey Test (P=0.05).