Important Rootstocks in Different Fruit Crops
Authors: A.K. Goswami, S.K. Singh, M. Srivastav, A. Nagaraja, Jai Prakash and Chavlesh Kumar

A powerful root system, its wide and deep distribution in the soil and a persistent and adequate annual growth of absorbing roots are the principal pre-requisites of abundant fruit bearing. Nowadays the fruit plants are generally propagated on rootstocks rather than on their own roots because growing of fruit trees on rootstocks has many advantages. Fruit plants are generally propagated on the rootstocks employing budding and grafting techniques. Rootstock is inextricably linked with the success or failure of orcharding enterprise. Purposefully selected rootstocks enables the scion variety to express its genetic potential in terms of fruit quality and achieving real yield, modify architecture of plants, enhance nutrient and water use and impart resistance/tolerance to set of biotic and abiotic stresses. Although several rootstocks with known potential constitute the complex plant in modern orchard raising for tropical, subtropical, temperate and arid fruit crops, but the lesser known prospective rootstocks, are yet to be utilized to harness on their potential for increasing productivity and raising farm income. In spite of great potential of rootstocks, there has not been any concerted effort in India to systematically utilize, multiply, or introduce at country level (Reddy and Rajan, 2008).

Present Status of Rootstock in fruit crops

A. Rootstock for Tropical and Sub-tropical Fruits

1. Mango

In India, seed propagation, though not suitable for commercial orcharding, is still the chief method of multiplication of rootstocks. Use of non-descriptive mango stones for multiplication of rootstocks has led to enormous variation in the performance of mango clones in the orchards. Some attempts have been made to standardize the rootstocks for various scion varieties including the use of polyembryonic varieties. Most of the Indian varieties are monoembryonic but some varieties from South India are polyembryonic, namely, Olour, Bappakai, Muvandan, Chandrakaran, Mylepelian, Kitchner, Nekkare, Prior, Vellaikulumban, Peach, Starch and Kurukan which give true to type seedlings from nucellar embryos. However, large scale utilization of polyembryonic varieties has not been made so far and there availability in northern India is very poor. Efforts have been made to standardize rootstocks for different scion varieties. The results obtained with monoembryonic and polyembryonic rootstocks are inconsistent.

2. Citrus

Citrus fruits are grown under varying agro-climatic conditions in all the states except in high altitude temperate regions. Rootstocks role in citrus industry is well known for its tolerance towards biotic and abiotic stress as well for increasing yield and quality. A wide variety of citrus rootstock are available, each having desirable attributes. A rootstock for citrus must be adopted to alkalinity, salinity and calcareous soils, should be resistant to Phytopthora, provide some measures of cold tolerance and produce good yield of high quality fruits.

The rootstocks known to impart disease tolerance, high productivity and long tree life have also been identified. Seeds of most citrus species are polyembryonic and thus nucellar seedlings are used both for raising uniform rootstocks as well as for direct planting in acid lime and mandarins and also helps to raise healthy plants as most of the citrus viruses are not transmitted through seeds.

Table. 1. Commonly used citrus rootstocks

Rootstock Characteristics
Rough lemon Large tree, high yield, deep rooted, susceptible to blight, tristeza tolerant, suitable for oranges and grape fruit; Fruit: Large, low quality
Trifoliate orange Small tree, high yield, resistant to footrot, tristeza; suitable for mandarins; Fruit: Good quality.
Troyer Citrange Standard tree, high yield, tolerant to foot rot, tristeza, suitable for oranges, grape fruit, lemons; Fruit: Large, good quality
Carrizo Citrange Standard tree, high yield, tolerant to foot rot, tristeza, suitable for oranges, grape fruit, lemons, nematode resistant; Fruit: Large, good quality
Rangpur lime Large tree, high yield, foot rot susceptible and suitable for orange, grape fruit; Fruit medium quality
Cleopatra mandarin Large tree, slow growth, suitable for tangelos orange and grape fruit Fruit small with high quality
In India, Rangpur lime is the most promising for mandarin and sweet orange in central and south India (Singh et al., 1997) however in Punjab, Jatti Khatti (C. jambhiri) and Rangpur lime for kinnow, Rangpur lime and Cleopatra mandarin for Blood Red and Jatti Khatti and Cleoptra Mandarin for Jaffa have shown promise ( Dhatt and Singh, 1993). Feronia limonia proved to be highly dwarfing and precocious and suitable for high density planting. In IARI, New Delhi ‘Troyer Citrange’, ‘Karna Khatta’ and ‘Sohsarkar’ were identified as dwarf, semi dwarf and vigorous rootstocks for Kinnow rootstocks. At Bangalore, the tree volume of Sathgudi and Mosambi was maximum on Rangpur lime and Rough lemon followed by Kodakittuli and Cleopatra mandarin (Haleem 1984). Citrus volkameriana found superior rootstocks for Navel orange, Valencia orange, Ruby Red and Marsh Grapefruit trees compared with the other rootstocks.

3. Guava

Rootstocks for guava can either be grown from open pollinated seeds or clonally propagated. Edward and Shankar (1964) found a compatible wilt resistant Chinese guava rootstock (Psidium friedrichsthalianum) and had small bushes.Shankar (1967) reported that P. molle, P. guineense, P. cattleianum, and Phillippines guava were found suitable as rootstocks. Pusa Srajan (aneuploid 82) found to be promising dwarf rootstock and had effect on growth and yield of Allahabad Safeda at IARI, New Delhi. The overall yield/unit volume of the plants was highest in Pusa Srajan (Sharma et al., 1992) and there is a strong potentiality of its being used as a dwarfing rootstock on commercial scale for increasing the production and profitability of guava orchards. At CISH, Lucknow, interspecific hybrid between P. molle and P. guajava found resistant to guava wilt and graft compatible with commercial varieties of P. guajava ( Anon., 2003-04).

4. Grape

The important rootstocks for grape viz., Dog Ridge, 110-R, Salt creek, Temple, St. George, Ripario & Gloria, US17 and US 41, Harmony, 1613, Freedom etc, plays important role for imparting dwarfness and tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses.

Resistance of Rootstocks to Phylloxera: Rootstocks with resistance to phylloxera are ‘Riparia Gloire’, ‘1104-14 Mgt’, SO4’ (Selection Oppenheim 4), ‘K5BB’ (Kober 5BB), and ‘St. George.

Resistance of Rootstocks to Root Nematodes: The rootstocks exhibited resistance to root nematodes, namely, ‘Barnes’ (V. champini), ‘Joly’ ( V. champini), ‘Monticola x Rupestris ’, ‘Ramsey’ (V rupestris x V. candicans), ‘Riparia x berlandieri 161-49’, and ‘Rupestris St. George’. Some other rootstocks considered to be resistant to nematodes are ‘Ramsey’, ‘Dog Ridge’, ‘Harmony’, ‘1613 C’ and ‘SO4’.

Tolerance of Rootstocks to Salinity: More recently, rootstock effects on salt tolerance of ‘Sultana’ were reported by Walker et al. (2002); the best performing rootstocks were ‘Ramsey’, ‘1103P’ and ‘R2’, which could impart most vigour to the scions.

Tolerance of Rootstocks to Drought: Rootstocks from V. berlandieri x V. rupestris were considered to be drought tolerant. Drought resistant rootstocks ‘110R’, ‘140Ru’ and ‘1103P’. (Ezzahouani and Williams, 1995).

Effect of Rootstocks on Vine Growth and Production: Effect of rootstocks on scion vigor and yield is specific to scion/rootstock combinations.

5. Sapota

The most commonly used rootstock for sapota is Rayan or Khirni ( Mimusops hexandra). In rootstock trials conducted in Gujarat, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, Khirni was found to be most vigorous and productive rootstock compared to sapota seedlings andBassia latifolia (Chadha 1991). Chrysophyllum lanceolatum, an indigenous species has also found suitable as it have abundant fruiting with seed fertility over 95% and has well established root system as well as wide adoptability.

6. Minor fruit crops: In ber, Zizyphus nummularia (dwarfing due to inverted bottle neck at graft union) and Zizyphus rotundifolia , in Bael Aegle fraeglegaboensis, in Fig, Ficus glomerata- a nematode resistant rootstock, in custard apple, Annona glabra which is suitable for various soil condition, in Jamun, Syzigium fruticosum (termite resistent) and Syzigium densiflora, in Olive ,Olea huspidata can be used as a potential rootstocks.

B. Rootstocks for Temperate Fruits

In India, all the major temperate fruits such as apple, pears, peaches, plums, apricot, cherries, almond, walnuts, pecan etc. previously raised on seedling rootstocks but now new promising clonal rootstocks for various temperate fruits have been developed in different parts of the world keeping the specific local needs such as cold hardiness, tolerance to salt, resistance to certain pests and diseases and adoptability to climate and soil conditions in consideration. There is insufficient space in this brief review to describe all the rootstocks available for the principal temperate fruit species. The rootstock used as industry standards in the main area of production are listed, as are many rootstock types currently undergoing orchard evaluations. In temperate fruits following rootstocks have been found promising:

Rootstock Remarks
A. Most dwarfing M-27 (M 13 x M 9) Most suited to triploid cultivars, Most dwarfing, 4’ tall, slightly reduced fruit size, can also be used as interstock, resistant to fire blight,
P 59 and P 64 Developed in Poland
B 146 Developed in Russia
J-TE-G Developed in Czech Republic
B. Very dwarfing (inter-mediate between M-27 and M-9 EMLA) P.2, P.16, P 22, P.62, P.63, P. 65, P.66 Resistant to Powdery Mildew,
J-TE-E Developed in Czech Republic
M 20 Developed in UK
C. Dwarfing M-9 (chance seedling) Resistant to phytophthora root rot (crown rot), 9’ tall,
M-26 (M-16 x M-9) Propagated by soft wood cuttings, Better anchored and larger then M-9,
Jork (J) 9 Developed in Germany
Bemali Developed In Swedon
Supporter 1 and supporter 2 Developed in Germany
J-TE-F and J-OH-A Developed in Czech Republic
G 16 and G 41 Developed in USA
Ottawa 3 Developed in Canada
D. Semi Dwarfing M 7 Deeper root system, stronger, precocious, tolerant to excessive soil moisture, larger than M 26,
MM 106 (Northern spy x M-1) Very sensitive to collar rot
B-9 Developed in Russia
E. Vigorous M-2 Precocious, fruits are smaller than the seedling roots, fruit full
MM 111 (Northern spy x M-1) Resistant to wooly aphid, best suitable to heavy soils, drought tolerant, ,
MM-104 Well anchorage, drought resistant,
F. Very vigorous M-16 Adopted to wide range of soil temperature
M 25 High yielding
Merton 793 Developed in UK
Marubakaido Developed in Japan
G. Others Northern Spy A source of resistant to wooly aphid
Apomictic seedlings such asM. sikkimensis, M. hupehensis, M. sargentii and M. toringoides Apomictic seedlings also used as clonal rootstocks.
Robusta-5 Important winter hardy and vigorous rootstocks
Different apple rootstocks can manipulate tree size, plant architecture, productivity, fruit quality and to a certain degree disease resistance of the scions. Intensive and high density planting systems is a major trend of the current apple industry and depends on the use of dwarfing rootstocks.
Cydonia (Quince)
BA 29 Semi vigorous to vigorous, popular to poorer soils where increased vigour is desirable, Also suitable for hot dry soil.
EMA (Quince A) Intermediate to vigorous, good for week growing cultivars
Quince B Semi-vigrous
Quince C Dwarf, easy to propagate, incompatible with many Asian pears, susceptible to fire blight
Sydo Similar vigour to QA, less susceptible to viruses and increased production effficiecy
Adams 332 Semi dwarfing,
EMH Semi dwarfing,
EMC Dwarfing
S 1 and S3 Improved winter cold tolerance
Pear (Pyrus communis)
Pyrodwarf Dwarfing
P. ussuriensis Maxim Invigorating rootstocks
P. longipipes Coss and Dur., and P. betuleafolia Bge
OHF Series Vigorous, popular rootstocks are OHF 333 (old Brokmal),OHF 87 and OHF 51
Brossier series Range of vigour from very dwarfing to invigorating,
Fox 11 and Fox 16 Semi vigorous to vigorous
Peach (Prunus persica)
GF 305 Very vigorous, susceptible to Agrobacterium and Phytophthora
Rubira Vigorous, red foliage, uniform germination, slightly sensitive to Pratylenchus vulnus
Montelor Resistant to Fe and Mg deficiency and chlorosis
Higama Vigorous, resistant to Fe deficiency and replant disease.
PS series Very vigorous to vigorous, good productivity, good seed germination.
Siberian C Cold resistant
Harrow Blood Cold resistant, poor induction to precocity
Rutgers Red leaf Cold resistant
Nemared Nematode resistant
Apricot Myrobalan GF 31 Vigorous, productive, good compatibility and tolerant to high soil moisture
Myrobalan GF 8/1 Vigorous, wide adoptability to soil and resistant to wet soil, salt and crown gall
P. besseyi hybrid Dwarfing
Cherry Colt (P. avium x P. pseudocerasus) Semi dwarfing, induce better growth control with traditional cultivar, induce good fruit size
Mahaleb (P. mahaleb) Hardier and more drought resistant than Mazzard
Mazzard (P. avium) Standard rootstock for both sour and sweet cherries
Paja (P. cerasoids) Show delayed incompatibility
Almond Hansen 2168 Vigorous, tolerant to root knot nematode and relatively low chilling
Peach Almond Hybrid GF 677 Vigorous tolerant to wet and dry soil, salt
Walnut Paradox Vigorous, disease resistant and tolerant to salt and drought
Pecan nut Carya acquiatica Wide adoptability especially to wet soil


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