Effect of grafting on yield and quality of hybrid tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.) cultivars
Grafting has proven to mitigate some soil-borne diseases and abiotic stresses as well as improve plant growth, yield and fruit quality. However, in Tanzania the effect of grafting on plant growth, yield and fruit quality of hybrid tomato cultivars is not yet fully explored. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of grafting eggplant rootstocks on plant growth, yield and fruit quality of hybrid tomato cultivars grown in Tanzania. The study was conducted at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania, and the experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with eight treatments each replicated three times. Hybrid tomato cv. Assila and Monica were each cleft-grafted onto eggplant EG190, EG195 and EG203 rootstocks and transplanted in the open field. Ungrafted plants of the same tomato cultivars were used as controls. Data were subjected to Analysis of Variance using GenStat v.14 statistical package (VSN International, UK) and treatment means were separated based on Tukey’s Test at P≤0.05. Results reveal that grafting eggplant EG190, EG195 and EG203 rootstocks significantly reduced total fruit yield (p = 0.001) and marketable yield (p = 0.001) for all tomato cultivars but significantly (p = 0.001) increased total soluble solids contents for all tomato cultivars, and titratable acidity for Monica in comparison to ungrafted controls. Further studies are required to determine rootstocks that are vigorous enough to carry scions of these hybrid tomato cultivars for yield improvement.
Keywords: Marketable yield, Diameter, Firmness, Assila, Monica, Total soluble solids, Titratable acidity
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA