Runner bean is a popular vegetable culture. It is often cultivated in green houses. To intensify its production, synthetic fertilizers along with pesticides are often used. However, using grafting can effectively and inexpensively fight root parasites and increase the uptake of nutrients from the soil, due to the development of a stronger root system of the plant.
This method has previously shown promising results for tomatoes. In this work we have studied how grafting of runner beans cultivars Rajado and Oriente on the rootstocks P1: cv. Aintree (Tozer Seeds), P2: cv. White Emergo (TS), and P3: cv. feijão de 7 anos (Portuguese landrace cv.) can affect plant performance, yield and resistance of the crop to soil borne disease, such as nematodes and Fusarium.
We recorded the number of days after planting (DAP) at which the first flower and the first pod occurred in each crop treatment. Also we measured the length of the pods, their fresh and dry weights, and the frequency of diseases and defects on the pods. The temperature and relative humidity inside the greenhouse were constantly measured.
During the experiment the plants experienced nutrient deficiency and Fusarium solani infection. The plants grafted onto the R3 rootstock, cv. feijão de 7 anos, have shown the best survival rates and yield per plant. In conclusion, grafting runner bean seems to be an appropriate strategy to increase crop tolerance to soilborne diseases caused by Fusarium spp. and nutrient deficiency, mainly for higher yielding cultivars such as cv. Oriente. For the scion cv. Oriente we would recommend the rootstock cv. P3, while for cv. Rajado further investigation is still needed to evaluate the effects of rootstocks P2 and P3.
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