Introduction: Grafting is a concept that is believed to have originated from the beginning of the first millennium BCE. This helped domesticate woody species that do not have success rooting from cuttings. This technology was probably one of the main drivers for the movement of temperate fruits from Central Asia to Europe. This technology has evolved and adapted as time has passed. It is now a technique that is mastered by many, although the success rate is very dependent on near-perfect conditions.
Grafting is described as "the natural or deliberate fusion of plant parts so that vascular continuity is established between them" (Pina and Errea 2005). This technology is a major aspect of the horticultural industry and has a wide variety of uses, such as vegetative propagation or shortening juvenility.
Grafting is a very versatile practice and can be used for many different things. Vegetative propagation is the common use of grafting, allowing for clonal propagation of the parent plant and giving one the ability to spread new plants that have an identical genetic makeup to the parent. Another very common use is for shortening juvenility in plants. Fruit trees pass through a juvenile stage where they cannot bloom and produce fruit until they reach maturity. Grafting allows for the shortening of this juvenile stage and speeds up the process of blooming and fruiting. This process is not always used because in certain plants the juvenile stage is not long enough that grafting is needed to speed up fruiting. "Fruit producers can overcome this delay in flowering by grafting a scion from a mature tree onto any rootstock (seedling or mature), because a mature scion maintains its flowering state in a graft to a juvenile seedling" (Mudge 441-442).
Overall, it can be seen how the idea of grafting has had a major impact on the horticultural industry. While it is mainly used for vegetative propagation, it can be used in other situations, such as avoiding juvenility. There are still certain issues with grafting, such as contamination of the plant tissue due to endophytic bacteria and fungi and success rate of the grafts. The success rate is still very difficult to calculate in a precise manner, and this is possibly where more research can take place to improve the success rate.
Citation: Mudge, K., Janick, J., Scofield, S., & Goldschmidt, E. E. (2009). A History of Grafting. Horticultural Reviews, 35. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/janick-papers/c09.pdf.