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Journal of Crop Improvement

Ilango R, V.J., Botany and Plant Improvement Division, UPASI Tea Research Foundation, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Topworking method of grafting has immense practical applications in reducing the excessive time consumption in conventional breeding programs in tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze). Hence, the present study was designed to know the influence of grafting time on growth and flowering in topworked scions. Scions from the clone TRF-4 were used for topworking on the field-grown plants of the clone UPASI-9. Topworking was performed during winter (January), pre-monsoon (May), and post-monsoon (September) seasons. The graft success rate was assessed 1 month after grafting. Twelve months after grafting, vigor of the topworked scions was evaluated by measuring length, number, and diameter of branches. Further assessments were carried out on the onset of flowering, length of the flowering period, and the number of flowers per scion during the flowering season. The results showed that the graft success rate, growth, and early onset of flowering were higher when topworking was done in May and September rather than in January. However, the flowering duration and number of flowers were significantly lower in the scions grafted in September. Therefore, topworking of suitable scions in May seems to be appropriate for attaining improved graft survival rate, early flowering onset, a higher number of flowers, and longer flowering duration in tea.

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Graft success, growth, and early flowering onset, as affected by grafting time in topworked tea plants
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Ilango R, V.J., Botany and Plant Improvement Division, UPASI Tea Research Foundation, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Graft success, growth, and early flowering onset, as affected by grafting time in topworked tea plants

Topworking method of grafting has immense practical applications in reducing the excessive time consumption in conventional breeding programs in tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze). Hence, the present study was designed to know the influence of grafting time on growth and flowering in topworked scions. Scions from the clone TRF-4 were used for topworking on the field-grown plants of the clone UPASI-9. Topworking was performed during winter (January), pre-monsoon (May), and post-monsoon (September) seasons. The graft success rate was assessed 1 month after grafting. Twelve months after grafting, vigor of the topworked scions was evaluated by measuring length, number, and diameter of branches. Further assessments were carried out on the onset of flowering, length of the flowering period, and the number of flowers per scion during the flowering season. The results showed that the graft success rate, growth, and early onset of flowering were higher when topworking was done in May and September rather than in January. However, the flowering duration and number of flowers were significantly lower in the scions grafted in September. Therefore, topworking of suitable scions in May seems to be appropriate for attaining improved graft survival rate, early flowering onset, a higher number of flowers, and longer flowering duration in tea.

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