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Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research
Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA
ISSN: 0718-5820
EISSN: 0718-5839
Vol. 71, No. 4, 2011, pp. 497-502
Bioline Code: cj11063
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 71, No. 4, 2011, pp. 497-502

 en GROWTH AND YIELD RESPONSE OF WATERMELON TO IN-ROW PLANT SPACINGS AND MYCORRHIZA
Ban, Dean; Ban, Smiljana Goreta; Oplanić, Milan; Horvat, Josipa; Novak, Bruno; Žanić, Katja & Žnidarčič, Dragan

Abstract

Worldwide, a significant increase in watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus check for this species in other resources [Thunb.] Matsum. & Nakai) growing areas has been registered in the last few years. In-row plant spacing has a significant effect on the growth and yield of watermelon, and can enhance competition for water and nutrients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of in-row plant spacing (1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 m) and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi Glomus mosseae check for this species in other resources inoculations on watermelon growth and yield under field conditions during 2003, 2004, and 2005 year. In 2003, the main vine length, number of leaves, and number of lateral branches were increased quadratically as the in-row plant spacing increased from 1.0 to 2.5. With an increase in the in-row plant spacing the early yield of watermelon decreased in 2004, while the fruit number decreased in 2003 and 2004. The total yield and fruit number decreased with an increase in the in-row plant spacing in all 3 yr; however, the fruit mass increased at wider plant spacings in 2003. Mycorrhizal inoculation increased the main vine length and the number of lateral branches in 2003. Compared to non-mycorrhizal plants, mycorrhizal plants presented higher early yield in 2005 and a higher early fruit number in 2003 and 2005. Mycorrhizal inoculation increased total yield in 2005; however, the fruit weight was not affected by mycorrhizal inoculation during early or total harvest. In this study, an in-row plant spacing of 1.0 m provided the best early and total yield while maintaining high fruit weight. The growth and yield enhancement of watermelon due to mycorrhizal colonization was not consistent; therefore, mycorrhizal inoculation could not be recommended as a standard production practice.

Keywords
Arbuscular mycorrhiza, Citrullus lanatus, Glomus mosseae, fruit, plant density, vegetative growth

 
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