Grafting height does not affect Fusarium wilt control or horticultural performance of Passiflora gibertii N.E.Br. rootstock

Abstract The influence of the grafting height (5, 10, 20 and 30 cm above the root collar) of P. edulis on P. gibertii was evaluated on the incidence of Fusarium wilt and horticultural performance. Plants of P. gibertii grafted on P. edulis and non-grafted plants of both species were also studied. In addition, histopathological studies were also performed on the roots of non-grafted P. edulis collected at three severity stages of Fusarium wilt. In greenhouse, the graft take was inversely related to the grafting height in general. In the field conditions, the plant growth of P. gibertii grafted on P. edulis was superior to its reciprocal grafting, even though the former combination was susceptible to Fop. Plants of P. edulis grafted on P. gibertii at all grafting heights did not present symptoms of Fop, and the number of fruit yield and quality were equivalent, but plant growth was decreased in relation to the non-grafted plants. Starch depletion in the root system of P. edulis was directly related to the severity of the Fusarium wilt. P. gibertii was confirmed as a Fusarium wilt resistant rootstock of P. edulis, with minimal influence of the grafting height for the control of the disease.