Grafting in Hylocereus (Cactaceae) as a tool for strengthening tolerance to high temperature stress

Milena Maria Tomaz de Oliveira, Shuhua Lu, Udi Zurgil, Eran Raveh, Noemi Tel-Zur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Hylocereus species that are grown as exotic fruit crops are very often farmed under marginal agronomic conditions, which may include exposure to high temperatures. Here we present a pioneering investigation of grafting as an agro-technique to improve heat tolerance in Hylocereus. To this end, we studied the diploid species H. undatus, the tetraploid H. megalanthus and its di-haploid gamete-derived line 2719, and the interspecific-interploid tetraploid Z-10, all grafted onto H. undatus as the rootstock. Self-grafted, grafted and non-grafted plants were acclimated for one week (to obtain baseline values) and then exposed to heat stress (45/35 °C day/night) for three days, followed by a one-week recovery period under optimal temperatures (30/22 °C). A comparison of the physiological, biochemical and molecular performances of the grafted and self-grafted plants under heat stress and during the recovery period vs those of non-stressed plants (control; 30/22 °C) showed that the grafted and self-grafted plants performed better in most of the assessments: grafted and self-grafted plants recovered more rapidly from the heat stress and suffered far less stem damage. An unexpected – but important – finding that may have implications for other crop was that the self-grafted plants showed better performance than non-grafted plants throughout the trial. Our findings provide support for grafting as a strategy for coping with the stress induced by extremely high temperatures. This study thus paves the way for further investigations of grafting in Hylocereus as a valuable technique that will maintain crop productivity in the face of increasing worldwide temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-105
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Ascorbate peroxidase
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (F/F)
  • Proline
  • Self-grafting
  • Total carbohydrates
  • Total chlorophyll content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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