Use of Cucumis metuliferus as a Rootstock for Melon to Manage Meloidogyne incognita


  • Concepcion Siguenza
  • Martin Schochow
  • Tom Turini
  • Antoon Ploeg


cucumis melo, cucumis metuliferus, cucurbita moschata, grafting, meloidogyne incognita, melon, reproduction, resistance, rootstock


Root-knot nematode-susceptible melons (Cantaloupe) were grown in pots with varying levels of Meloidogyne incognita and were compared to susceptible melons that were grafted onto Cucumis metuliferus or Cucurbita moschata rootstocks. In addition, the effect of using melons as transplants in nematode-infested soil was compared to direct seeding of melons in nematode-infested soil. There were no differences in shoot or root weight, or severity of root galling between transplanted and direct-seeded non-grafted susceptible melon in nematode-infested soil. Susceptible melon grafted on C. moschata rootstocks had lower root gall ratings and, at high nematode densities, higher shoot weights than non-grafted susceptible melons. However, final nematode levels were not lower on the grafted than on the non-grafted plants, and it was therefore concluded that grafting susceptible melon on to C. moschata rootstock made the plants tolerant, but not resistant, to the nematodes. Grafting susceptible melons on C. metuliferus rootstocks also reduced levels of root galling, prevented shoot weight losses, and resulted in significantly lower nematode levels at harvest. Thus, C. metuliferus may be used as a rootstock for melon to prevent both growth reduction and a strong nematode buildup in M. incognita-infested soil.