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Selecting tomato rootstocks

          Rootstocks widely used for grafting tomato are hybrids between tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), called intraspecific hybrid, or hybrids between tomato (S. lycopersicum) and a wild relative to tomato (such as S. habrochaites) called interspecific hybrid. Interspecific hybrid rootstocks are generally more vigorous but sometimes lack uniformity of germination/seedling emergence. 

          When you choose rootstocks for tomato, in addition to the rootstock’s resistances, you need to select the rootstock based on the expected level of vigor, relative to your scion. If scion is a less vigorous variety and if a very vigorous rootstock is used, adding vigor to the scion is expected. However, if rootstock is too vigorous relative to scion, you may experience an overly vegetative growth of your tomato plants, potentially reducing yields. Some rootstocks can achieve higher yields even without disease present in the root zone (such as in hydroponics).

          Many recently developed tomato cultivars and rootstocks have resistance to ToMV (tomato mosaic virus). However, when you graft tomato, ToMV resistance level of scion is recommended to be the same as that of rootstock (Oda, 1990; Yamakawa, 1982). This recommendation seems to be based on the studies conducted in Japan during 1970s when growers started using grafted tomato seedlings. According to the handbook written by Yamakawa (1978 and 1982), if scion is not resistant to ToMV or mildly resistant (Tm-1) but the rootstock is highly resistant (Tm-2a), for example, then hypersensitive reaction (causing programmed cell death) may be induced in rootstock tissue when scion is infected with ToMV. This may reduce the growth rate or, as the worst case, may induce a sudden death of grafted plants (Oda, 1990; Yamakawa, 1982). ToMV resistance levels (types) are Tm-1, Tm-2, and Tm-2a.


Available rootstock varieties and seed company information for tomato. [Please contact seed companies for resistance information.]

Seed company
Rootstock Name
Achilles-M, Aegis, Aloha, Anchor-T, Armada, B.B., Camel, Helper-M, Survivor
Beaufort, Maxifort, Mutlifort
Resister, Vigostar 09, Resiguard
NUN0003, NUN0004, NUN0005, Spirit
TMAA804, TMZQ702, TMZV802, TMZV803
TX301, Strong Foot
Monstro, Titron

Note to users:
Rootstock efficacies are influenced by compatibility to the selected scion, existing disease pressure, and climate conditions. Therefore it is very important to test the selected candidate rootstocks at a small scale before introducing the rootstock for larger scale.

Oda, M. 1990. Grafted plants - Tomapina. JT Publishers, Oyama, Japan. 108 pp.

Yamakawa, I. 1978. Vegetables – Cultivars, Disease Resistances, and their Use. Zenkoku Noson Kyoiku Kyokai, 136pp.

Yamakawa, I. 1982. Grafting. In: (S. Nishi ed.) Vegetable Crop Production Handbook, p.141-153. Yokendo, Tokyo.


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