The effect of different levels of irrigation on growth, yield, fruit quality and water use efficiency of grafted and ungrafted melon (Cucumis melo l. Zarde Jalali) under drip irrigation system

Document Type : Full Paper


1 Former Ph.D. Student of Physiology and Breeding Vegetable, Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture Sciences, University of Guilan and Assistant Professor of Department of Horticulture and landscaping, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zabol, Iran

2 Professor Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Horticultural Sciences, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Scientific Broad Member, Agricultural Engineering Research Institute (AERI), Agricultural Research Eucation, and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran


In this study, a landrace melon Zarde Jalali as the scion and commercial varieties of Cucurbita rootstocks cv., Shintozwa and Ferro-RZ was used as the rootstock. Grafted plants upon commercial varieties of Cucurbita with own-rooted and ungrafted at three irrigation levels of 60, 80 and 100% (respectively 4984.32, 6124.82 and 7239.41 m3ha-1) based on total available water depletion with drip irrigation system were evaluated. The results showed that with increasing water stress fruit flesh firmness, leaf relative water content and leaf chlorophyll content decreased. Comparison of means showed that maximum (40.76 tonha-1) and minimum (31.16 tonha-1) total yield, obtained by Shintozwa rootstock and self grafted, respectively. The relative changes of performance grafting on increase total yield in Shintozwa and Ferro-RZ rootstocks in compared to non-grafted plants was 23.07 and 14.19 in water deficit conditions respectively. Also the increase in yield was due to the increase in fruit weight so that the average weight of the fruit at Shintozwa rootstock (3.51 kg) and Ferro-RZ rootstock (3.59 kg), was higher in grafted plants compared to non-grafted plants (2.97 kg). Between water levels of 80% and control, no significant differences were found in terms of yield and average fruit weight. Also maximum of marketable yield (38.18 tonha-1) and the lowest yield (26.22 tonha-1) were related to irrigation levels of 100 and 60%, respectively. The maximum (6/7kg m3) and minimum water use efficiency (5/05 kg m3), were related to Shintozwa rootstock and self grafted plants, respectively.


  1. Alizadeh, A. (2012). Soil, Water, Plant Relationship. Imam Reza University Press. Pages 615. (in persian)
  2. Ashtiani, N. (2010). Publication of Melon. Ministry of Agriculture.
  3. Bakhshandeh, E. (2009). Problems & solutions for water scarcity in Iran. In: Proceeding of the second national conference and strategies to manage the effects of drought. Research Center of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Esfahan. (in Farsi)
  4. Bletsos, F., Thanassoulopoulos, C. & Roupakias, D. (2003). Effect of grafting on growth, yield and verticillium wilt of eggplant. Horticultural Science, 38, 183-186.
  5. Brown, P. H., Zhang, Q. & Ferguson, L. (1994). Influence of rootstock on nutrient acquisition by pistachio. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 17, 1137-l148.
  6. Castrillo, M. & Calcargo, A. M. (1998). Effects of water stress and rewatering on ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase activity, chlorophyll and protein contents in two cultivars of tomato. Journal of Horticultural Science, 64, 717-724.
  7. Chouka, A. S. & Jebari, H. (1999). Effect of grafting on watermelon on vegetative and root development, production and fruit quality, Acta Horticulturae, 492, 85-93.
  8. Dettori, S. (1985). Leaf water potential, stomatal resistance and transpiration response to different watering in almond, peach and pixy plum. II International symposium on irrigation of horticultural crops. Acta Horticulturae, 171, 253-258.
  9. Edelstein, M., Burger, Y., Horev, C., Porat, A., Meir, A. & Cohen, R. (2004). Assessing the effect of genetic and anatomic variation of cucurbita rootstocks on vigour, survival and yield of grafted melons. Journal of Horticultural Sciences and Biotechnology, 79, 370-374.
  10. Engels, C., Neumann, G., Gahoonia, T. S., George, E. & Schenk, M. (2000). Assessing the ability of roots for nutrient acquisition. In Root Methods: A Handbook. Eds. A. L. Smit, A. G. Bengough, C. Engels, M. van Noordwijk, S. Pellerin & S. C. van de Geijn. pp. 403–459. Springer, Berlin.
  11. Ferna´ndez-Garcıa, N., Martı´nez, V., Cerda´, A. & Carvajal, M. (2004). Fruit quality of grafted tomato plants grown under saline conditions. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 79, 995-1001.
  12. Foyer, C. H., Valadier, M., Migge, A. & Becker, T. (1998). Drought- induced effects on nitrate reductae activity and mRNA on the coordination of nitrogen and carbon metabolism in maize leaves. Plant Physiology, 177, 283-292.
  13. Garcı´a-Sa´nchez, F., Syvertsen, J. P., Gimeno, V., Botia, P. & Perez-Perez, J. G. (2007). Responses to flooding and drought stress by two citrus rootstock seedlings with different water-use efficiency. Plant Biology, 130, 532-542.
  14. Gonzalea, L. & Gonzalez-Vilar, M. (2003). Determination of relative water content.In Handbook of plant ecophysiology techniques. (207-212). J. Manuel and R.Goger (Eds.). London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  15. Heidari, N., Eslam, A., Ghadami Firouzabadi, A. & Canoni, A. (2006). Water Use Efficiency of crops in different regions of the country. In: Proceeding of First National Conference Irrigation and drainage networks. Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz. (in Farsi)
  16. Itai, C. & Birnbaum, H. (1991). Synthesis of plant growth regulators by roots. In Plant Root: the Hidden Half. Y. Waisel, A. Eshel & U. Kafkafi (Eds.). pp. 163-177. Marcel Dekkar, New York.
  17. Jafari, P. (2011). Grafting vegetables in order to cope with environmental stresses. In: Proceeding of the first national conference on sustainable agriculture and healthy product. Research Center of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Isfahan. November 19-20, Isfahan.
  18. Jiang, Y. & Huang, N. (2001). Drought and heat stress injury to two cool-season turf grasses in relation to antioxidation metabolism and lipid peroxidation. Crop Science, 41,436-442.
  19. Jordan, W. R., Dugas, W. A. & Shouse, P. J. (1983). Strategies for crop improvement for drought-prone regions. Agricultural Water Management, 7, 281-289.
  20. Kashi,A., Salehi, R & Javanpor, R. (2008). Grafting technology in vegetable crop production. Agricultural Training Center Press publication. Pages 212. (in persian)
  21. Kato, T. & Lou, H. (1989). Effect of rootstock on the yield, mineral nutrition and hormone level in xylem sap in eggplant. Journal of the Japanese Society for Horticultural, 58, 345-352.
  22. Kurata, H. (1976). Studies on the sex expression of flowers induced by day-length and temperature in pumpkin and watermelon. Memoirs of Faculty of Agriculture, Kagawa University, 29, 1-49.
  23. Lawlor, D. W. & Cornic, G. (2002). Photosynthetic carbon assimilation and associated metabolism in relation to water deficits in higher plants. Plant, Cell and Environment, 25, 275-294.
  24. Lee, J. M. (1994). Cultivation of grafted vegetables I. Current status, grafting methods, and benefits. HortScience, 29, 235-239.
  25. Lee, J. H., Kwon, J. K., Park, K. S, Huh, Y. C, Lim, C., Park, D. K. & Dal ko, K. (2009). Effect of different rootstocks on wilting occurrence, plant growth and fruit quality of melon. Korean Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology, 27, 211-217.
  26. Lee, J. M. & Oda, M. (2003). Grafting of herbaceous vegetable and ornamental crops. Horticultural Reviews, 28, 61-124.
  27. Lee, J. M., Kubota, C., Tsao, S. J., Bie, Z., Hoyos Echevarria, P., Morra, L. and Oda, M. (2010). Current status of vegetable grafting: Diffusion, grafting techniques, automation. Scientia Horticulturae, 127, 93-105.
  28. Long, R. L., Walsh, K. B. & Midmore, D. J. (2006). Irrigation scheduling to increase muskmelon fruit biomass and soluble solids concentration. Horticultural science, 41(2), 367-369.
  29. Mahmoud, A. & Wahb-Allah, A. (2014). Effectieness of grafting for the improvement of salinity and drought tolerance in tomato (Solanum lycopersicon L.). Asian Journal of Crop Science, 6(2), 112-122.
  30. Morita, S., Okamoto, M., Abe, J. & Yamagishi, J. (2000). Bleeding rate of field-grown maize with reference to root system development. Japanese Journal of Crop Science, 69, 80-85.
  31. Mostofi, Y. & Najafi, F. (2005). Laboratory Manual of Analytical Techniques in Horticulture (Translation). Tehran University Press. Page 85. (in Farsi)
  32. Nautiyal, P. C., Rachaputi, N. R. & Joshi, Y. C. (2002). Moisture-deficit-induced changes in leaf-water content, leaf carbon exchange rate and biomass production in groundnut cultivars differing in specific leaf area. Field Crops Research, 74, 67-79.
  33. Pogonyi, A., Pek, Z., Helyes, Z. & Lugasi, L. (2005). Effect of grafting on the tomatos yield quality and main fruit components in spring forcing. Acta Alimentaria, 34, 453-462.
  34. Rangana, S. (1997). Mannual for analysis of fruit and vegetable products. Tata McGraw Hill Co.Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, pp, 73-76.
  35. Rivero, R. M., Ruiz, J. M. & Romero, L. (2003). Role of grafting in horticultural plants under stress conditions. Food, Agriculture & Environment, 1, 70-74.
  36. Rouphael, Y., Cardarelli, M. & Colla, G. (2008). Yield, Mineral Composition, Water Relation, and Water Use Efficiency of Grafted Mini-watermelon Plants under Deficit Irrigation. Horticultural Science, 34(3), 730-736.
  37. Rogers, G. S. (2006). Development of a crop management program to improve the sugar-content and quality of rockmelons. Horticulture Australia, Project Number: VX00019, 85.
  38. Roosta, H. R. & Karimi, H. R. (2012). Effect of alkal-stress on ungrafted and grafted cucumber plants: using two types of local squash as rootstock. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 35, 1843-1852.
  39. Ruiz, J. M., Belakbir, A. & Romero, L. (1997). Leaf- ma cronutrient content and yield in grafting melon plants.A model to evaluate the influence of rootstock genotype.Scientia Horticulturae, 71, 227-234.
  40. Ruiz, J. M. & Romero, L. (1999). Nitrogen efficiency and metabolism in grafted melon plants. Scientia Horticulturae, 81, 113-123.
  41. Salehi, R., Kashi, A., Lee, S. G., Huh, Y. C., Lee, J. M., Bablar, M. & Delshad, M. (2009). Assessing the survival and growth performance of Iranian melon to grafting onto cucurbita rootstocks. Journal of Horticultural Science, 27(1), 1-6. (in Farsi)
  42. Salehi, R., Kashi, A. & Lessani, H. (2004). Effects of different cucurbit rootstocks on growth and yield of greenhouse cucumber cv. Sultan. Iranian Journal of Horticulturae Science and Technology, 5(1), 59-66. (in Farsi)
  43. Satisha, J., Prakash, G. S., Bhatt, R. M. & Sampath Kumar, P. (2007). Physiological mechanisms of water use efficiency in grape rootstocks under drought conditions. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 2, 159-164.
  44. Satoh, S., Iizuka, C, Kikuchi, A., Nakamura, N. & Fujii, T. (1992). Proteins and carbohydrates in xylem sap from squash root. Plant and Cell Physiology, 33(7), 841-847.
  45. Sakata, Y., Takayoshi, O. & Mitsuhiro, S. (2007). The history and present state of the grafting of cucurbitaceous vegetables in Japan. Acta Horticulturae, 731,159-170.
  46. Schonfeld, M. A., Johnson, R. C., Carver, B. & Morhinweg, D. W. (1988). Water relation in winter wheat as drought resistance indicator. Crop Science, 28, 526-531.
  47. Sensoy, S., Ertek, A., Gedik, I. & Kucukyumuk, C. (2007). Irrigation frequency and amount affect yield and quality of field grown melon (Cucumis melo L.). Agricultural Water Management, 88, 269-274.
  48. Tabatabaei, S. J. (2009). Principles of mineral nutrition of plants. Authors Publication, Tabriz, Iran. Pp. 389. (in Farsi)
  49. Takahashi, H., Shiraki, M., Uchida, Y., Kawagoe, H., Okada, M., Takamae, A., Fukugawa, T., Noma, H., Tsuda, Y., Eto, T. & Hosoyamada., Y. (1982). A wilting symptom on the grafted watermelon and its control. Bulletin of the Miyazaki Agricultural Experiment, 16, 1-35.
  50. Tagliavani, M., Bassi, D. & Marangoni, B. (1993). Growth and mineral nutrition of pear rootstocks in lime soils. Scientia Horticulturae, 54, 13-22.
  51. Traka-Mavrona, E., Koutsika-Sotiriou, M. & Pritsa, T. (2000). Response of squash (Cucurbita spp.) as rootstock for melon (Cucumis melo L.). Scientia Horticulturae, 83, 353-362.
  52. Venkateswarlu, B. & Ramesh, K. (1993). Cell membrane stability and biochemical response of cultured cells ofgroundenut under polyethylene glycol-induced water stress. Plant Science, 90, 179-185.
  53. Yamasaki, A., Yamashita, M. & Furuya, S. (1994). Mineral concentrations and cytokinin activity in the xylem exudate of grafted watermelons as affected by rootstocks and crop load. Journal of the Japanese Society for Horticultural Science, 62, 817-826.
  54. Yetisir, H. & Sari, N. (2004). Effect of hypocotyls morphology on survival rate and growth of watermelon seedlings grafted on rootstocks with different emergence performance at various temperatures.  Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 28, 231-237.
  55. Zijstra, S. & Den Nijs, A. P. M. (1994). Effects of root systems of tomato genotypes on growth and earliness studied in grafting experiments at low the temperature. Euphytica, 36, 963-700.