A rootstock and scion, combined by grafting or budding, results in a multicomponent plant—two different genetic systems mechanically combined into a single unit. This may be taken further, and additional pieces of plant material may be introduced into the plant system. For instance, if graft incompatibility exists between a rootstock and scion, an interstock (interstem) that is compatible to both is grafted between the two. Interstocks also are used to confer addi tional characteristics, such as size control, upon the plant system or to combine characteristics with the rootstock. For instance, a rootstock may be selected and used for its characteristics of anchorage and soil adaptability but may lack size control capacity. An interstock may be added to the plant system to confer size control and induce precocity.
In commercial fruit crop production, no single rootstock has proven to be perfect for all conditions and management systems. Continued development and experimentation with rootstocks and their propagation, production, and field use is needed. Thus, there should be a continued commitment to research on the biology and culture of rootstocks for tree fruit crops.
Related Topics: BREEDING AND MOLECULAR GENETICS; CULTIVAR SELECTION; DWARFING; PROPAGATION
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