Vegetable Grafting

St. Roman-en-gal, Vienne, France (300 A.D)

Grafting is an ancient technique where separate plants are combined into a single individual. For thousands of years humans have used grafting as a means of propagation, yet there is still much unknown about the process.

Although most commercial grafting occurs in woody crops, more and more herbaceous plants are being grafted. The New York Times has ran several articles regarding tomato grafting.

The Frank Lab utilizes tomato as a model system for grafting due to its biological significance as a grafted crop, relatively fast life cycle, and extensive amount of genetic tools.

The Solanaceae family is one of mankind’s most beloved; tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and tobacco are only a few examples. Solanaceae is highly graftable as well. In our lab, we’ve been able to graft tomatoes to many different species. Interestingly, tomato, and pepper, while closely related, are unable to graft. From this finding, we have developed a model for herbaceous graft incompatible: Tomepper and Pepmato. This model was used in our 2021 publication.


  • Detached apical scion grafts (tube, splice/wedge, whip and tongue, cleft, saddle), root, bark, side graft, approach graft, repair graft
  • Basic horticlutral techniques: seed collection, sterilzation, germination, plant care
  • Plant physiology techniques: Scholander pressure bomb
  • Plant phenotyping and trait quantification (ImageJ/R)
Cactus grafting
Vegetable grafting
Example of incompatible tree grafting

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