Focus on Cucurbits

Cucurbit Grafting—How and Why

June 2020

By Chieri Kubota, Ph.D.
Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

By Anthony Keinath, Ph.D.
Professor of Plant Pathology
Coastal Research and Education Center
Clemson University
Charleston, South Carolina
Phone: 843-402-5390

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Summary: Grafting cucurbits has a long history and recently was introduced to U.S. watermelon production to manage soilborne pathogens. As more growers and propagators become interested in grafting cucurbits, there are many techniques to understand in order to be successful in producing plants and using them in the field. This presentation will help consultants, county agents, growers, and transplant producers learn the basics of grafting methods and the keys for grafted seedling production. In addition, practitioners will learn which diseases can be managed with grafting and other tips to produce a profitable crop.

Biography: Dr. Chieri Kubota is a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University. She received her PhD in horticultural engineering and MS in horticultural science from Chiba University, Japan. Dr. Kubota worked as faculty for 6 years at Chiba University and 16 years in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona; she recently joined the faculty at The Ohio State University. Her research program focuses on the development of science-based technologies in the area of controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Dr. Kubota’s research includes value-added CEA crop production, vegetable grafting, hydroponic strawberry production, and LED lighting applications.

Dr. Anthony P. Keinath is a professor of plant pathology and the research (80%) and Extension (20%) vegetable pathologist at the Clemson University Coastal Research and Education Center in Charleston, South Carolina. He received his PhD and MS in plant pathology from Cornell University. He then spent 3 years with the USDA in Beltsville, Maryland, as a postdoctoral plant pathologist before joining Clemson in 1991. His area of expertise is diseases of cucurbits, particularly gummy stem blight, Fusarium wilt, and anthracnose of watermelon. He has served as senior editor and editor-in-chief of the journal Plant Disease, as chair of The American Phytopathological Society (APS) Publications Board, and as a two-term member of the APS Council. Dr. Keinath is the recipient of the 2018 Godley-Snell Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research from Clemson University and the 2020 Outstanding Plant Pathologist Award from the Southern Division of APS.

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