Effect of Grafting and Water Stress on Yield, and Morpho-Physiological Root Properties of Greenhouse Cucumber

Document Type : Research Article


1 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran

2 Moghan College of Agriculture & Natural Resources - University of Mohaghegh Ardabili


 Cucumber is one of the important greenhouse vegetables in Iran and the world. This product, in Iran, has the largest area under cultivation in comparison with other greenhouse vegetables, and according to the statistic in 2020, the Office of herbs, vegetables and ornamental plants Ministry of Agriculture, the greenhouse cucumbers area under cultivation in Iran is 15000 ha. Cucumber is the product of warm and temperate season (with mild winters) and is very sensitive to adverse environmental conditions and even rare changes in soil moisture content will have a significant adverse effect on its growth and yield. Cucumber root is shallow, it is fibrous, and its shallow root causes its sensitivity to drought so that its main root penetrates 5–10 cm in heavy soil and 20-30 cm in light soils. This plant has an extensive and almost thin root system that has the possibility of expansion in a wide range horizontally, and, therefore, it can produce mass root, at the depth of 30 cm. In order to study the effect of grafting and water stress on morphological characteristics greenhouse cucumber (Cucumis sativus L), an experiment was conducted as complete randomized block design with three replications.
Materials and Methods
 This research has been carried out in the city of Pars-Abad, Ardabil province, Iran. The longitude of Pars-Abad is 47°55ʹ E, latitude is 39°38ʹ N, and its height distance sea level is 32 meters. This research was done in the greenhouse of the Moghan Agriculture and Natural Resources Faculty in a complete randomized block arranged in split plot with three replications. To determine the characteristic curve of soil moisture, soil samples was selected and the weight moisture percentage at pressures of -0.3, -5, -10 and -15 bar, which include the important potential of the soil, was determined by using Pressure plate’s apparatus and soil moisture characteristic curve was mapped and soil parameters characteristic curve was determined. this study, the main factor included water stress in three levels of 90, 60 and 40% field capacity and the secondary factor included three rootstocks of Shintoza cucurbits (Cucurbita moschata × Cucurbita maxima), Flexi Fort cucurbits (Cucurbita moschata × Cucurbita maxima, cucumber varieties Nagen 972 (Cucumis sativus L.) self-grafted and check (ungrafted) cucumber varieties Nagen was studied as a scion. In this study, the grafting method of hole insertion was used as the best grafting method for Cucurbitaceous.
Results and Discussion
 Duncan test results showed that with increasing stress, the diameter of the main root, at the rootstocks of Shintoza and Flexi Fort, increased almost twice as much as the control. The results showed an approximately 3 times increase in the yield, at the rootstocks of cucurbits at different levels of stress and it had a significant positive relationship at 1% level with the length, diameter and weight of root. The highest yield related to the Flexi Fort rootstocks was obtained 2.99 kg per plant in the water stress condition 90% of field capacity and then Shintoza rootstocks ranked second with 2.617 kg per plant, at 60% water stress. The maximum water use efficiency related to Shintoza rootstocks was at 32% and Flexi Fort rootstocks, Nagen and control, were respectively 30, 22 and 36% of Potential evapotranspiration.
 The results showed that, with increasing water stress, unlike the control, which was associated with decreasing linear trend of yield, Treatments with cucurbits grafting at Shintoza and Flexi Fort rootstock, faced with increased water stress, from 40 % to 90 % of field capacity by minor reducing of product. This can be due to increasing root uptake parameters such as length, weight and length of the main root in these Treatments. Correlation analysis showed a significant relationship at **P<0.01 level between a percentage of roots and yield. The results in all applied water stress also showed a high yield of grafted treatments about three times more than the control. Reducing the yield sensitivity factor in cucurbits Treatments, causes the plant could maintain its performance in irregular watering that encounter the plant with tension. The high water use efficiency in cucurbits Treatments shows that it is possible to perform economic optimization in the production based on water consumption scarcity of water. 


Main Subjects

  1. Al-Debei H.S., Makhadmeh I., Abu-Al Ruz I., Al-Abdallat A.M., Ayad J.Y., and Al Amin N. 2012. Influence of different rootstocks on growth and yield of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under the impact of soil-borne pathogens in Jordan. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment 10(2): 343-349.
  2. Alomran A.M., Louki I.I., Aly A.A., and Nadeem M.E. 2013. Impact of Deficit Irrigation on Soil Salinity and Cucumber Yield under Greenhouse Condition in an Arid Environment. Journal Agriculture Science Technology 15: 1247-1259.
  3. Amer K.H., Sally A.M., and Jerry L.H.2009. Effect of Deficit Irrigation andFertilization on Cucumber. Agronomy Journal 101: 1556–1564. https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2009.0112.
  4. An Y.Y., and Liang Z.S. 2013. Drought tolerance of Periploca sepium during seed germination: antioxidant defense and compatible solutes accumulation. Acta Physiological Plant 35: 959–967. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-012-1139-z.
  5. Asseng A., Ritchia J.T., and Smuchker A.J.M. 1998. Root growth and water uptake during water deficit and recovering in wheat. Plant and Soil 201: 265-273. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004317523264.
  6. Ayas S., and Demirtaş Ç. 2009. Deficit irrigation effects on cucumber (Cucumis sativus Maraton) yield in unheated greenhouse condition. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment 7 (3&4): 645–649.
  7. Buttaro D., Santamaria P., Signore A., Cantore V., Boari F., Montesano F., and Parente A. 2015. Irrigation management of greenhouse tomato and cucumber usingtensiometer: effects on yield, quality and water use. Agric. Agric. Sci. Procedia 4: 440–444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aaspro.2015.03.050.
  8. Cakir R., Cebib U. K., Altintasc S., and Ozdemirba A. 2017. Irrigation scheduling and water use efficiency of cucumber grown as aspring-summer cycle crop in solar greenhouse. Agricultural Water Management 180 :78–87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.10.023.
  9. Caser M., Scariot V., Gaino W., Larcher F., and Devecchi M. 2013. The effects of sodium chloride on the aesthetic value of Buxus European Journal of Horticultural Science 78:153–159.
  10. Castelli F., Contillo R., and Miceli F. 1996. Non-destructive determination of leaf chlorophyll content in four crop species. Journal of Agricultural and Crop Science 4: 275–283. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-037X.1996.tb00246.x.
  11. Castrillo M., and Calcargo A.M. 1998. Effects of water stress and rewatering on ribulose-1,5bisphosphate carboxylase activity, chlorophyll and protein contents in two cultivars of tomato. Journal of Horticulture Science 64: 717-724. https://doi.org/10.1080/14620316.1989.11516014.
  12. Colla G., Rouphael Y., Cardarelli M., Salerno A., and Rea E. 2010. The effectiveness of grafting to improve alkalinity tolerance in watermelon. Environment Experiment Botany 68: 283–291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2009.12.005.
  13. Davis R.A., Perkins-Veazie P., Hassell R., Levi A., King S.R., and Zhang X. 2008. Grafting Effects on Vegetable Quality. Hort Science 43(6): 1670-1672. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.43.6.1670.
  14. Doorenbos J., and Kassam A.H. 1979. Yield response to water. FAO Irrigation and Drainage paper no. 33.
  15. Edelstein M., Burger Y., Horev C., Porat A., Meir A., and Cohen, R. 2004. Assessing the effect of genetic and anatomic variation of Cucurbita rootstocks on vigour, survival and yield of grafted melons. Journal Horticulture Science Biotechnology 79: 370–374. https://doi.org/10.1080/14620316.2004.11511775.
  16. Farhadi A., Aroeii H., Nemati H., Salehi R., and Giuffrida F. 2016. The Effectiveness of Different Rootstocks for Improving Yield and Growth of Cucumber Cultivated Hydroponically in a Greenhouse. Horticulturae 2(1): 1-7. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae2010001.
  17. Fotoohie g\Ghazvini R., Haidary M., Hashempur A. Physiology and molecular biology of stress tolerance in plants (Tranlate). Jahad Daneshgahi Publications of Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province. 2011, Pp, 360. (In Persian)
  18. Gregory P., Baum A., and Yambao J. 1991. The fate of carbon in pulse-labelled crops of barley and wheat. Plant& Soil Science 136: 205-213.
  19. Hang Y., Li J., Hua B., Liu Z.X., Fan M.L., and Bie Z.L. 2013. Grafting onto different rootstocks as a means to improve watermelon tolerance to low potassium. Science Horticulture 149: 80-85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2012.02.009.
  20. Lee J.M. 1994. Cultivation of grafted vegetables I. Current status, grafting methods, and benefits. Hort Science 29: 235-239. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.29.4.235.
  21. Lee S.G., Choi J.U., Kim K.Y., Chung J.H., and Lee. Y.B. 1997. Effect of rootstocks and grafting methods on the growth and fruit quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). RDA. Journal of Horticultural Science 39: 15-20.
  22. Lee J.M. 2003. Advances in vegetable grafting. Chron. Horticulture 43: 13-19.
  23. Lopez-Galarza S., San Bautista A., Perez D.M., Miguel A., Baixauli C., Pascual B., Maroto J.V., and Guardiola J.L. 2004. Effects of grafting and cytokinin-induced fruit setting on colour and sugar-content traits in glasshouse-grown triploid watermelon. Journal Horticulture Science Biotechnology 79: 971–976. https://doi.org/10.1080/14620316.2004.11511875.
  24. Mao X., Liu M., Wang X., Hou C.Z., and Shi J. 2003. Effects of deficit irrigation on yield and water use of greenhouse grown cucumber in the north China plain. Agriculture Water Managment 61(3): 219-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(03)00022-2.
  25. Marsic K.N., and Jakse M. 2010. Growth and yield of grafted cucumber (Cucumis sativus) on different soilless substrates. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment 8(2): 654–658.
  26. Mugwanya M., Kimera F., and Dawood M. 2022. Elucidating the effects of combined treatments of salicylic acid and l-Proline on greenhouse-grown cucumber under saline drip irrigation. Journal Plant Growth Regul. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00344-022-10634-0.
  27. Nilsen E.T., Freeman J., Grene R., and Tokuhisa J. 2014. A rootstock provides water conservation for a grafted commercial tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) line in response to mild-drought conditions: a focus on vegetative growth and photosynthetic parameters. Plos One. 9(12): 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0115380.
  28. Pasrenese C., Pimentel P., and Lillo J. 2005. Leaf movements and photo inhibition in relation to water stress in field-grown beans. Journal of Experimental Botany 56: 425–433. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/eri061.
  29. Potropoulos S.A., Khah E.M., and Passam H.C. 2012. Evaluation of rootstocks for watermelon grafting with reference to plant development, yield and fruit quality. International Journal Plant Production 6: 481-492.53(373): 1503-1514. https://doi.org/10.22069/ijpp.2012.761.
  30. Tuberosa R. 2011. Phenotyping for drought tolerance of cropin the genomics era: Key concepts, issues and approaches. University of Bolongna, Italy. Frontiers in Physiology Journal 3: 1-26. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2012.00347.
  31. Rouphael Y., Schwarz D., Krumbein A., and Colla G. 2010. Impact of grafting on product quality of fruit vegetables. Science Hortculture 127: 172–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2010.09.001.
  32. Simsek M., Kacura M., and Tonkaz T. 2004. The effects of different irrigation regimes on watermelon [Citrillus lanatus (Thunb.)] yield and yield components under semi-arid climatic conditions. Australian Journal Agriculture Resource 55: 1149–1157. https://doi.org/10.1071/AR03264.
  33. Schwarz D., Rouphael Y., Colla G., and Venema J.H. 2010. Grafting as a tool to improve tolerance of vegetables to abiotic stresses: Thermal stress, water stress and organic pollutants. Science Horticulture 127: 162–171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2010.09.016.
  34. Shalaby T.A., Taha N.A., Rakha M.T., El-Beltagi H.S., Shehata W.F., Ramadan K.M.A., El-Ramady H., and Bayoumi Y.A. 2022. Can grafting manage fusarium wilt disease of cucumber and increase productivity under heat stress? Plants 11(9): 1147. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11091147.
  35. Traka-Mavrona E., Koutsika-Sotiriou M., and Pritsa T. 2000. Response of squash (Cucurbita spp.) as rootstock for melon (Cucumis melo). Scientia Horticulturae 83: 353-362. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4238(99)00088-6.
  36. Zhao G., Ma B., and Ren, C. 2007. Growth, gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, and ion content of naked oat in response to salinity. Crop Science 47(1): 123-131. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2006.06.0371.
  • Receive Date: 28 September 2019
  • Revise Date: 19 December 2020
  • Accept Date: 08 September 2021
  • First Publish Date: 08 September 2021