113 Preliminary Study on Grafting between Vitis rotundifolia and V. vinifera Grapes

in HortScience
Authors: Zhongbo Ren1 and Jiang Lu1
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  • 1 Center for Viticulture, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32311

Non-native grape species such as V. vinifera and V. labrusca can not sustain the hot and humid environment of Florida due to their susceptibility to various diseases. Vitis rotundifolia (muscadine grapes) is native to Florida and the southeastern United States and adapted well to this climate condition. They are highly resistant to almost all grape foliage diseases and root pests such as nematode and phylloxera. Theoretically, muscadine grapes may become a valuable rootstock for bunch grapes. Unfortunately, most previous studies found that muscadine grapes were graft-incompatible with bunch grapes by normal grafting techniques. This study was to look for an alternative technique to graft V. vinifera onto muscadine rootstocks. A preliminary study indicated that bunch grape scions were successfully grafted on adult muscadine grapes. Two V. vinifera grape cultivars, `Thompson Seedless' and `Chardonnay', and two muscadine grape cultivars, `Carlos' and `Alachua', were used for this study. The muscadine grapes used as rootstocks are 6-year old field-grown vines and V. vinifera was used as scions. Using the common V-type grafting method was completely failed in more than 150 attempts. We then tried to insert the first-year buds of V. vinifera into 1- to 3-year-old muscadine canes. Surprisingly, the survival rate of the inserting buds was moderately high when `Carlos' was used as the rootstock. `Thompson Seedless'/`Carlos', `Chardonnay'/`Carlos' reached 53% and 33%, respectively. Successful grafting but lower survival rate was also obtained when `Alachua' was used as the rootstock (10% in `Thompson Seedless/`Alachua' and 3% in `Chardonny'/`Alachua'). The average survival rate of `Thompson Seedless' on the muscadine rootstocks was 36%, and `Chardonnay' was 12%. Regardless the cultivar of the scions, buds survived on `Carlos' and `Alachua' rootstocks were 44% and 5%, respectively. Results from this study indicated that V. vinifera grapes could be successfully grafted onto muscadine rootstocks. The survival rate varied depending on cultivars used for both scion and rootstock. It would be very interesting to see if resistance to certain diseases such as the Pierce's disease can be improved in those V. vinifera grape with muscadine roots and trunks derived from this preliminary study.

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