Producing Double-stemmed Tomato Seedlings by Cutting Propagation, Pinching, and Plant Bioregulators Application

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  • 1 Kyung Hee Univ., Horticulture, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, 449-701, Republic of Korea
  • 2 Kyung Hee Univ., Horticulture, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, 449-701, Republic of Korea
  • 3 Kyung Hee Univ., Horticulture, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, 449-701, Republic of Korea
  • 4 Kyung Hee Univ., Horticulture, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, 449-701, Republic of Korea

Double-stemmed seedlings (DSS) will be favored by the growers because they can save the expense needed to purchase commercial seedlings. This is also true with grafted tomatoes since the price of grafted tomato seedlings is about 2 times higher than non-grafted ones. The plug seedling growers will also benefit from the increased demand for DSS if the production cost for DSS can be maintained at appropriate level. Two stem cuttings having two expanded leaves were taken from a seedling when the seedling had four expanded leaves and rooted in 32-cell trays filled with commercial soil mix. Lower stem cuttings having first and second leaves produced well-balanced DSS even without any plant bioregulator treatment whereas up upper stem cuttings having third and fourth leaves resulted in single-stem seedlings with very limited outgrowth of axillary shoot from the third node. DSS can be obtained from the decapitated seedling stump by outgrowth of axillary shoots from the cotyledonary nodes, but the quality and uniformity were inferior to other seedlings. Pinching off the tips of seedlings thus leaving three expanded leaves per seedling and application of plant bioregulators to the decapitated seedlings were also effective for producing DDS. Application of thidiazuron (TDZ) in lanolin paste to the second node was most effective even though whole plant spray with TDZ or BA was also partially effective. Subsequent growth characteristics of these seedlings will be further discussed.

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