Vol 10, No 3 (2004)

Published August 13, 2004


First selections of the Hungarian apple breeding program for multiple resistance

The aim of the first Hungarian apple breeding program for multiple resistance started in the beginning of the nineties is to widen Hungarian apple assortment by good quality, resistant apple cultivars with excellent productivity and ecological capability to the most important fruit growing areas in Hungary. In the first years of seedling produc...tion we made early selection for susceptibility to apple scab in greenhouse. Alter this, field observation of susceptibility to powdery mildew, scab and canker and a yearly negative selection was carried on. From 1997, fruit quality was evaluated as well, and from 2001 the resistance of shoots to Erwinia ainylovora (Burrill/Winslow et al.) was examined using inoculations in greenhouse conditions. From the progenies of crosses in 1992 and 1993, six candidates were announced to national recognition out of hybrids examined for more than a decade. Descriptions of these selections from 'Prima' progenies and the most important data of their resistance, growing habit, morphological characteristics and fruit quality are shown in this article.

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Traditional farming within the Carpathian basin - pomaceous fruits

In the Carpathian basin there are still maintained the main historical fruit varieties and traces of traditional farming. The Department of Fruit Science considered the utilisation of obsolete varieties in breeding as source of resistance to local adversities, moreover, the practice of traditional .farming using those varieties shoul...d be also explored. In the present study, the farming methods and variety structure of two substantially different growing sites are described. One is an alluvial plain along a river were an ancient form of farming based on the control of sluices. The second is practised by clearing the forest on the slopes of the central range and of the Carpathian chain. During the course of our research we succeeded to find 8 pear, 29 apple and a few quince as well as medlar varieties. Further endeavour would be the conservation of those varieties, preferably on the spot together with their growing techniques as relicts, also as aesthetic components of that particular landscape. Our committed partners in this work are the National Parks.

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Historical apple cultivars that display high level of resistance to fire blight

Following the first outbreak of fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winslow et al. in Hungary, we have started research with the aim to screen domestic gene sources, mostly historical Hungarian apple cultivars, for disease resistance as part of an apple breeding program for multiple resistance. The present s...tudy was conducted with the aim to choose the most tolerant historical apple cultivars among 25 selected cultivars by screening their behavior towards fire blight under controlled conditions. Six cultivars were shown to be the most disease tolerant: `Batul', 'London pepin', Nemes Sóvári Alma', `Sikulai', `Szemes alma', Wilmos renet'. We evaluated these cultivars by investigating both morphological- characteristics under original environmental circumstances and fruit quality. The cultivars had a remarkable degree of fire blight resistance compared to the control cultivars. These were not competitive with the commercially grown 'Jonathan M40' during cultivar tests but on the basis of certain characteristics they could serve as genetic sources for breeding new varieties.

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Malus taxa and the progenies of Malus floribunda selected in Hungary, as gene sources of resistance breeding

One of our objectives in the apple breeding program of the Department of Fruit Science, beside creating new varieties, is to search for new gene sources. After evaluating the disease resistance of Malus taxa available in Hungary, we put the promising selected individuals through further examinations. Their habit and growth vigor was ob...served, as well as productivity and fruit characteristics were evaluated. Malus fusca seems to be a new, promising gene source in Hungary among the examined taxa. Beside its optimal canopy, growth vigor and fruit characteristics, it has the advantage to be in distant relationship to Malus x domestica, therefore its resistance is based on a different genetic basis. SBG 1 selection of Malus spectabilis can be recommended as a new gene source for resistance breeding. The range of gene sources can further be widened by selected clones of Malus floriblunda (BA I), Malus x zumi (BA) and Malus baccata (SBG 6). An additional value of Malus taxa chosen by us is that they show resistance not only to apple scab, but to powdery mildew as well, and according to our results, they have optimal habit, acceptable productivity and good fruit quality. Nine hybrids were selected from first Malus progenies which proved to be resistant to apple scab and powdery mildew. These are valuable not only as gene sources of breeding, but as pollenizers or ornamental trees, while their decorative fruits can be used in inside decorations and flower arrangements.

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Freeze Susceptibility of Fruit Buds in 67 Apple cultivars in Hungary

Frost damage is one of the most important risks of apple production. Outstanding importance has been attributed to the frost resistance of flower-buds as decisive sites of fruit production. Browning of plants parts and tissues exposed to natural weather adversities are considered as effects of frost. In Hungary, frost damage on flower buds of b...oth the market and new cultivars has not been assessed earlier. Observations referring to the consequences of frost damages of over four critical years, marked by their peculiar winter and spring frost hazards. Parallel observations have been made in four sites of the growing area in the Great-Plain region. 67 apple cultivars have been assessed. Each cultivar was represented by 3 trees, which were sampled at about 1-1.5 m height over ground, where the buds or inflorescences were picked for the purpose to assess the injury. The buds and flowers are cut longitudinally and rated visually according to the extent of browning of the organs and tissues. Susceptibility of different organs of the flower (pistils and anthers) were rated separately. According to our results, most resistant to spring frosts are the following cultivars: 'Gloster', 'Granny Smith' and appreciable tolerance is attributed in 'Gala' and 'Jonathan' with derivatives. Preliminary results that among the scab resistant cultivars, `Baujade', 'Rewena', 'Liberty', `Resi' and 'Renora' are rather frost resistant. Information, lacking hitherto, is obtained upon 'Reka' and 'Reglindis' as for their increased susceptibility.

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Effect of Erwinia amylovora infection on peroxidase enzyme activity in resistant apple cultivars

Two apple cultivars that display enhanced resistance to fire blight (causal agent: Erwinia amylovora) were selected. The aim of the present study was to characterize the peroxidase (POD) enzyme activity of `Szemes alma' (a historical cultivar) and MR-03, (a Hungarian multiresistant hybrid of 'Prima') and compare them to susceptible 'Jo...nathan M 40' and resistant 'Remo' controls. Peroxides enzyme activity during E. amylovora infections was investigated in artificially infected apple shoots. Increases in enzyme activities were observed in a `Jonathan M40' and in 'Remo', MR-03, `Szemes alma' cultivars. There was a consistent relationship between total enzyme activity and fire blight disease severity. High activity of the peroxidase was positively correlated with the degree of resistance to fire blight. A general hypothesis that POD activity is related to fire blight susceptibility/resistance is supported by our results.

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Susceptibility of some traditional pear cultivars of Hungarian and foreign origin to the pathogenic bacterium Erwinia amylovora

Fire blight, a disease caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winslow et al., has been causing serious damage in Hungarian pear plantations since 1996. A prospective control measure could be the use of resistant cultivars. For that purpose ten pear cultivars have been tested under laboratory and greenhouse conditions for r...esistance to Erwinia amylovora strains collected in Hungary. Six of these cultivars are Hungarian ones of unknown origin, while four are traditional old varieties. Resistant cultivars should serve as germplasm for future breeding. Inoculations were made with a mixture of different pear isolates of the bacteria collected from various growing regions of Hungary (Ea 21, 23), at a density of 5x108 cells/ml. Susceptibility/resistance has been assessed on the basis of intensity of blight symptoms observed on shoots, flower parts and fruits. Cultivars were assigned to three susceptibility groups (low, moderate and high). Complete resistance was not found among the cultivars tested. The highest level of resistance was found in cultivar 'Kieffer', while the other cultivars displayed either moderate or high susceptibility to infection.

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Biochemical changes in pear (Pyrus communis L. depending on different phases of the dormancy

Pear cultivars of variable frost tolerance were tested as for frost injuries suffered as a consequence of artificial freezing temperatures during the endodormancy as well as the ecodormancy. Damages were registered according to a visually defined scale, then peroxidase and polyphenol-oxidase activity was checked in buds, spurs and limbs. Accord...ing to our results, 'Packham's Triumph' was the most frost tolerant cultivar. Regarding enzyme activity of both enzymes, the performance of cultivars displaying different susceptibility was also different in spurs as well as in buds. Results referring to the endodormancy were especially instructive. During the ecodormancy, data obtained at the same time indicated the differences existing between the developmental stages of dormancy in the respective cultivars.

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Evaluation of foreign apricot cultivars in Hungary

The extension and renewal of cultivar assortment is one of the key elements in the improvement of apricot production. Competitiveness can only be achieved by planting cultivars which meet all market requirements and yield reliably under the environmental conditions of the given production site. Beside breeding programmes, the range of cultivars... can also be extended by the domestication of foreign cultivars. Most apricot cultivars have low ecological tolerance, therefore, cultivars improved or developed in other countries should only be involved in production after due consideration. The suitability of such cultivars has to be examined for several years. Foreign apricot cultivars have been tested in our cultivar collection for over 10 years. Hereby, the most important aspects of market value and the adaptability to the environmental conditions of the production site are demonstrated. According to the results of our examinations the production of early ripening 'Orange Red' and `Goldrich' can be promising in Hungary. From cultivars ripening in the peak season only those are expected to be widely produced which differ from Hungarian cultivars or surplus them in some respects. From the cultivars examined 'Harogem' which ripens at the same time as `Gönci magyar kajszi' has remarkably aesthetic fruits with glossy surface, while the large fruits of `Hargrand' has firm pulp. Late ripening cultivars have significant importance in the northern border of production. According to our examinations the cultivars 'Callatis', `Comandor and `Sirena' are applicable in Hungary to extend the harvesting season.

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The effect of rootstock on the tree size of apricot cultivars

The apricot is propagated on several kinds of rootstocks in Hungary. The main aspects of selecting rootstocks are as follows: adaptability to environmental circumstances, primarily soil conditions, ensuring the tree size that complies with the cultivation method, and compatibility with the grafted cultivar. At advanced, intensive orchards roots...tocks ensuring smaller tree size are privileged. For the establishment of the appropriate cultivation system, it is important to be aware of the expected growing vigour and tree size of certain cultivar­rootstock combinations when the orchard is designed. In the course of our experiment the size of 15-year-old trees of 4 apricot cultivars were examined on several rootstocks at an orchard in Siófok. On the basis of the data measured for each cultivar-rootstock combination, it can be stated that trees on wild apricot (P. armeniaca) rootstocks are the largest in size. Trees on prune (P. domestica) rootstock have 10-15% smaller crown volume than the previous combination. Trees on bullace (P. insititia) rootstock have the smallest tree size and their crown volume is 30-50% smaller than that of the trees on P. armeniaca rootstock. Thus, the application of prune and bullace rootstocks is beneficial at intensive apricot orchards as the size of trees can be reduced by their usage. However, their compatibility with the cultivars and their adaptability to the ecological conditions of the production site have to be tested before applying them widely. In the course of our research incompatibility was not experienced for any of the cultivar-rootstock combinations examined. Nevertheless, the drought tolerance of the rootstocks examined showed significant differences. Trees on P. domestica or P. insititia rootstock requires more water than those on P. armeniaca rootstock, therefore, they have to be irrigated.

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Fruit Quality of Sweet Cherry Cultivars Grafted on Four Different Rootstocks

A rootstock trial planted at the Szigetcsep experimental station in 1989 involved the study of two cultivars- `Germersdorfi FL 45' and 'Van' -grafted on four different rootstocks — 'Colt', `MxM 14 — Brokforest', `MxM 97 — Brokgrow' and 'Saint Lucie 64' as a control. The trees were trained to the "Modified Brunner-spindle" system and came ...into bearing in 1993. The yield per tree, fruit weight and fruit diameter have been measured each year since then. The refractivity, the acid content of the fruit juice, fruit cracking after four hours' dipping in water and stone weight ratio have also been measured since 1995. In 1997 and 1998 these parameters as well as fruit cracking after 24 hours' dipping were measured. Fruit firmness and fruit colour were also estimated. In almost every observed parameter significant differences were found between the scion cultivars. Yield efficiency was significantly higher on 'NUM 14' and 'Saint Lucie 64' than on the other two rootstocks. As regards fruit weight, in both cultivars and over an average of six years, it was found that trees on low yielding tree on 'Colt' rootstock had the highest fruit weight values and on heavy producing `MxM 14' the smallest. Soluble solids content was higher on 'Colt' and `MxM 97'. No significant differences between the rootstocks were found in acid content of the fruit juice. There were significant differences between the rootstocks in fruit cracking after 4 and 24 hours' dipping in water. Seemingly with respect to cultivars and rootstocks the year has a considerable effect on fruit cracking.

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Rootstocks for Cherries from the Department of Fruit Science Budapest

Cherry rootstock breeding started at the Department of Fruit Science, SSU Budapest by the late 50-s and the activity can be divided into three main groups. In the first stage the activity was focused on collection of native mahaleb cherry (Prunus mahaleb L.) varieties lead by L. Sebők. After evaluation in the nursery and orchard tests... there are four promising rootstock cultivars selected from this material: 'Korponay' used as self fertile seed tree, its seedlings are recommended for sour cherries. The mahaleb varieties 'Bogdány' (vigorous), 'Egervár' and 'Magyar' (medium vigour) are propagated by cuttings. The next project has started in 1979 with the aim to select self fertile mahaleb seed trees producing homogeneous seedling populations with reduced vigour. Inbred populations from isolated flowering self fertile trees were produced and planted out in 1980. The inbreeding of 'Korponay' self fertile P. mahaleb variety resulted in specimens with different fruit colour (yellow, red, black), fruit shape and size. From among them self fertile trees were selected with various growth characteristics. Seedlings of that self fertile mother trees (S2 population) were tested in seedbed, they showed homogeneous phenotype characteristics as liners in the nursery. As rootstock of 'Érdi bőtermő' sour cherry in the orchard most of the S2 lines proved to be less vigorous in comparison to SI popuplations. 'Érdi bőtermő' trees budded on certain S2 lines in the orchard are more productive than those on S1 ('Korponay' seedling). Characteristics of the S2 generation as seed tree were studied as well. We expect to get morphologically homogeneous seedling populations with different growth vigour and good productivity in the later inbred generations. In the last couple of decades the research activity concerning ground-cherry and its hybrids resulted in dwarfing rootstocks. Prunus fruticosa Pall. hybrids from the natural flora of Hungary were collected and artificial hybrids were created between P. fruticosa and mahaleb cherry. Most of them are in the initial tests, only one of them is before registration, named 'Prob', which is a dwarf rootstock for sweet cherry. By the screening of new hybrids medium vigorous or semi dwarfing and precocious rootstocks seem to be promising for the cherry industry.

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Determination of auxine content of soft wood cutted `Marianna GF8/1' (Prunus cerasifera x P. munsoniana) by High Performance Liquid Chromatography during rooting period

The content of different auxins of soft-wood cutted plum rootstock 'Marianna GF8/1' (Prunus cerasifera x P. munsoniana) was determined during the rooting period. The level of auxin-concentration (exogenous and endogenous) of basic and intemodal part of cuttings was determined by WATERS HPLC equipment every 7 days during rootin...g period. The lengths soft wood cuttings were app. 30 cm long. The basal part of shoots were treated with 2000 pg/g concentrated indole-butiryc acid in talcum powder. After treatment the cuttings were placed in propagation green-house under intermittent mist. The plant hormones were extracted by methanol the solution was cleaned by paper-filter, and further cleaned by centrifuge. The effluent was examined by reversed phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography, with WATERS 2487 dual detector at 220 am on Symmetry C18 4,6x 150 column. Recovery and reproducibility assessment indicates good accuracy and acceptable relative standard deviation (RSD) 5%. Linear responses (r20.997) for calibration curve was obtained with IAA, IPA and IBA standard in range, with a limit of quantification of 0.15 g•m1-1. The concentration of IAA, IPA and IBA in the basal part of cuttings were measured, during the rooting period. We proved the external IBA was taken up by the plants. In the plants were found the IBA, and the IAA concentration of IBA treated cuttings was higher, than the untreated one.

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Anatomical relations of root formation in strawberry

Anatomical relations of root formation are traced throughout the life cycle of the strawberry plant from the germinating seed up to the runners of the adult plant. Histological picture of the root changes a lot during the development of the plant. First the radicle of the germ grows to a main root, which makes branches into side roots and later... adventitious roots are formed on the growing rootstock or rhizome. The anatomy of the different types of roots is also conspicuously different. First tiny branches appear relatively early after germination on the seedling's radicle, but soon the hypocotyl of the seedling thickens and develops side roots, which are already somewhat stronger. During this interval, the first true leaves are formed. The 4th or 5th of them being already tripartite, and the initiation of new roots extends into the epicotylar region of the shoot. The second years growth starts with the development of reproductive structures, inflorescences and runners starting from the axils of the new leaves. Near the tips of the runners below the small bunch of leaves, new root primordia are initiated. The tiny radicle of the germ develops a cortical region of 5-6 cell layers. Cells of the central cylinder are even smaller than the cortical parenchyma and include 3-4 xylem and 3-4 phloem elements as representatives of the conductive tissue. Roots originating from the shoot region are much more developed; their cortical zone contains 17-20 cell layers, whereas the central cylinder is about half as large. In the next year, new roots are formed at the base of the older leaves. These roots differ hardly from those of the last season in size and volume, however, they are recognised by colour and their position on the rhizome. The roots of the last year are dark, greyish-black, and grow on the lower third length of the rhizome, on the contrary, the new ones, on the upper region, are light brown. Roots starting from the shoot or rhizome are, independently from their age or sequence, mainly rather similar in size and diameter, thus being members of a homogenous root (homorhizous) system, i.e. without a main root. Plants developed and attained the reproductive phase develop in the axils of the leaves runners being plagiotropic, i.e. growing horizontally on the surface of the soil. The runners elongate intensely, become 150-200 mm, where some long internodes bear a bunch of small leaves and root primordia on short internodes and a growing tip. Runners do not stop growing, generally, further sections of 15-25 cm length are developed according to the same pattern, with small leaves on the tip. The growing tip of the runners is obliquely oriented, and small, conical root primordia are ready to start growing as soon as they touch the soil. The roots penetrate the soil, quickly, and pull, by contraction, the axis of the runner downwards, vertically, developing a new rhizome. The short internodes elongate a little and start developing adventitious roots. At the end of the growing season, the plantlets arisen on the rooted nods of runners are already similar to the original plants with homogenous root system. On the side of the adventitious roots, new branches (side-roots) are formed. The root-branches are thinner but their capillary zone is more developed being more active in uptake of water and nutrients. The usual thickening ensues later.

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Antioxidant capacity, C-vitamin and anthocyanils content in the fruits of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) types

: Elderberry used to be a common medicinal plant since long. Its ripe fruit and inflorescence has been collected. Cultivation however, started in Hungary recently, with the early 90-es. Initially, has been planted, the 'Haschberg' cultivar. Our Department started first with the selection of favourable genotypes in the Hungarian spontan...eous populations of the species, we aimed to find clones, which are earlier ripening than 'Haschberg', moreover, superior in any of the agronomical or quality traits. Present study deals with 19 new selected clones by their content of vitamin-C, anthocyanins and their antioxidant capacity. Environmental stresses are inducing, increased, accumulation of free radicals in living organisms. To evoid the harmful effects of the free radicals, we need to consume antioxidant compounds (flavonoids, anthocyanins, vitamins, etc.) In the literature there are quite a few references related to the anthocyanins and antioxidants of the elderberry. Measurements prove that substantial differences exist among the population of the species as for the content and quality of those compounds. In anthocyanin content, the difference between the highest and lowest values was 3000 mg/I, whereas in antioxidant content this value was 6001.1M. Those types, which contained less anthocyanin (<5000 mg/I), produced lower antioxidant capacity, whereas the highest anthocyanin content was associated with the strongest antioxidant activity. C-vitamin content varied between 36.5 and 96.4 mg/100g. These values provide daily human requirements by their consumption. Summing up all parameters, examined the best type was Cinkota 1.

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Evaluation of fruit quality parameters of Rosa taxa from the Carpathian basin

From the wide range of genetic sources available in Hungary, we have chosen as objective the evaluation of those rose taxa, which — on the base of their quality and morphologic features — are suitable for selecting fruit production varieties or parent varieties for further breeding. We examined physical and inner parameters of fruits of ...>Rosa taxa, and evaluated the correlations by mathematical statistic methods. Namely, if a correlation can be found between physical and inner parameters, fruit production value can be determined by less examinations in the future. According to our results, there is a large variability in some physical parameters (weight, diameter of fruits; weight, number of achenes) as well as in inner content values (vitamin C, glucose, fructose, K, Ca, Fe, Zn and Cu content) of rosehip, regarding production year, habitat and even the individual of examination. Twice as much ascorbic acid can be found in achene-free fruits, and nearly five times as much in their dry product as in fresh whole fruits. It was established repeatedly, that vitamin C concentrates in fruit flesh, and ascorbic acid content can be preserved better in achene-free flesh. There is no essential difference in citric acid and carbo-hydrate content of whole and achene-free rosehips. However, macro- and microelement content of whole fruits is 30-40% higher than that of achene-free fruit flesh. The connection between fresh weight and diameter, as well as achene number and seed weight of fruits can be described by the function y=axb. A significant relationship can be found in case of K-Fe, Ca-Mg, Ca-B, Ca-Mn and Zn-Cu, between fresh weight and B content of fruits. According to our examinations, fresh weight of rose species with a higher citric acid content is usually higher, while their Fe content is smaller. Glucose content of fruits of rose species is directly proportional to their Ca and Zn contents. Zn content of rose species with higher fructose content is usually smaller.

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