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Food news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Produce at the market
Comments:
by Julie Cates
on August 29, 2022 at 6:00 PM
Hello, the article mentions “an ancient technique.” Would you please elaborate on year and culture? We study Ancient cultures and their connections to our food and ag practices. Sincerely, Julie Cates, Sixth Grade Teacher
Reply by Mike Hsu
on October 20, 2022 at 3:54 PM
Hi Julie: The oldest record of grafting vegetables is in 500 AD in China when farmers joined together multiple gourd plants to develop a greater root system to increase the size of gourd fruit. However, grafting for disease and pest management was documented in the early 1900s. For more details, please follow this link: http://www.vegetablegrafting.org/resources/grafting-manual/ The first chapter of the Grafting Manual summarized the history of vegetable grafting.  
-Zheng Wang
by Lee Ann Ray
on October 20, 2022 at 2:37 PM
Can you share the original watermelon varieties, and the new grafted varieties replacing them? Have there been any studies done on sugar content, flesh/flavor, or shelf life between the two? It seems that sometimes quality is sacrificed for quantity in the mass production of produce, so I'm curious about the tradeoffs, if there are any.  
Thank you,  
L.Ray  
Master Gardener, Santa Clara County
Reply by Mike Hsu
on October 20, 2022 at 3:56 PM
Hi Lee Ann: For grafting, it only replaces the root system of the original plant with multi-pathogen, vigorous rootstocks that are bred for disease resistance, yield enhancement, among other horticultural benefits. https://www.stanag.org/pdf/cropreport/cropreport2019.pdf included an article that I wrote about questions on grafting (See page 26).  
 
To your question on the flavor, fruit after grafting did change to different extent, such as firmer flesh and thicker rind, and size/weight. Sugar content is not necessarily lower for grafted than the regular fruit for watermelon. But vegetables like tomato, the Brix was indeed impacted by grafting, which could be lower than non-grafted fruit.  
-Zheng Wang
by Mike Hsu
on October 20, 2022 at 3:55 PM
Hi Lee Ann: For grafting, it only replaces the root system of the original plant with multi-pathogen, vigorous rootstocks that are bred for disease resistance, yield enhancement, among other horticultural benefits. https://www.stanag.org/pdf/cropreport/cropreport2019.pdf included an article that I wrote about questions on grafting (See page 26).  
 
To your question on the flavor, fruit after grafting did change to different extent, such as firmer flesh and thicker rind, and size/weight. Sugar content is not necessarily lower for grafted than the regular fruit for watermelon. But vegetables like tomato, the Brix was indeed impacted by grafting, which could be lower than non-grafted fruit.  
-Zheng Wang
 
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