GRAFT­ING SWEET PEP­PERS FOR PRO­DUC­TION IN THE HOT-WET SEA­SON

Agriculture - - Smart Strategy -

SWEET PEP­PERS are dif­fi­cult to grow dur­ing the hot-wet sea­son. High rain­fall, flood­ing, wa­ter­logged soils, dis­eases, and high tem­per­a­tures can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce yields.

Graft­ing sweet­pep­per scions onto se­lected root­stocks of sweet pep­per and chili (hot) pep­per can min­i­mize prob­lems caused by flood­ing and soil-borne dis­eases, in­clud­ing bac­te­rial wilt and Phy­toph­thora blight.

Some­times, the use of grafted pep­per plants can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween har­vest­ing a good crop and har­vest­ing no crop at all (Fig.1).

GRAFT­ING OP­TIONS Pro­duc­ing grafted sweet pep­pers is more ex­pen­sive than non-grafted pep­per pro­duc­tion.These tol­er­ate wa­ter­log­ging and sur­vive for days un­der wa­ter.Use graft­ing only when there is a risk of flood­ing or soil­borne dis­eases such as bac­te­rial wilt and Phy­toph­thora blight.

Chili pep­per root­stocks Use chili pep­per root­stocks when flood­ing or wa­ter­logged soils are ex­pected. Chili roots can tol­er­ate wa­ter­log­ging and sur­vive for days un­der wa­ter.

Most chili lines will graft suc­cess­fully with sweet pep­per lines. The key is to iden­tify chili root­stocks that will main­tain the high yields and fruit qual­ity of the scion va­ri­ety. The lines should be

re­sis­tant to bac­te­rial wilt (caused by Ral­sto­nia solanacearum) and other soil-borne dis­eases.

AVRDC – The World Veg­etable Cen­ter in Tai­wan rec­om­mends chili ac­ces­sions PB02377502,0242-62,and LeeB. They are re­sis­tant to dam­age caused by flood­ing, bac­te­rial wilt, and Phy­toph­thora blight (caused by Phy­toph­thora cap­sici). Field ob­ser­va­tions in­di­cate these lines show tol­er­ance to both dis­eases.

Sweet pep­per root­stocks Most sweet pep­per va­ri­eties are sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­age by soil-borne dis­eases and flood­ing. There­fore, it is not ad­vis­able to use sweet pep­per root­stocks un­til re­sis­tant or tol­er­ant lines are iden­ti­fied. So far, no re­sis­tant lines have been de­vel­oped at AVRDC or other re­search in­sti­tu­tions. Breed­ing for dis­ease re­sis­tance and flood tol­er­ance is in progress.

Fig­ure 1. Grafted sweet pep­per plants (left bed) are grow­ing vig­or­ously while non-grafted plants (right bed) are dead.

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