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Juan Carlos Álvarez-Hernández, Javier Zaragoza Castellanos-Ramos and Cesar Leobardo Aguirre-Mancilla

Grafting Carica papaya plants can have several benefits for productive, phytosanitary, and sexing purposes. However, the literature on the subject of papaya grafting is limited. The tongue approach and cleft grafting techniques seem to be the most adequate for C. papaya, but the quality of grafts depends on several factors. With the objective of developing and adapting a grafting method for papaya, experimental assays were carried out in the Valley of Apatzingan, Michoacan, Mexico. The physical condition of the seedlings was assessed, and the most advantageous time for grafting was determined based on the size and thickness of the stems. Three assays were then carried out. The first assay was a test of the tongue approach and cleft grafting techniques using two clamping devices. The second assay involved the same techniques with modifications and the addition of another treatment. In the third assay, the modified tongue approach grafting method was tested on three containers with papaya plants. Seedling vigor, graft survival, and graft quality were the recorded variables. The results indicated that unwanted tissue should be cut 6 days after grafting. The tongue approach grafting method using tape as the fastening device (T-T) yielded a graft survival of 80%. The modified tongue approach grafting method, in which the tongues were formed just below the stem-site cut and tape was used as the fastening device (M-T-Bc-T), yielded a graft survival of 90%. In the third assay, the previously described modified method, but with seedlings grown in plastic bags (M-T-Bc-T-B), yielded a graft survival of 92.5%. It can be concluded that the modified tongue approach grafting method with seedlings grown in plastic bags (M-T-Bc-T-B), is a reliable grafting method for papaya that does not require special handling conditions.