Vol 13, No 4 (2007)

Published October 16, 2007



Epidemiological survey of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis and Gnomonia leptostyla on natural population of walnut (Juglans regia) in eastern Transylvania

In Romania, walnut Juglans regia L. is an important fruit crop, although most of the fruit production comes from non-grafted walnut trees, which are natural hybrids. Breeding programs have been launched during last 30 years to develop new cultivars with uniform fruit quality. In addition, foreign cultivars have been introduced and test...ed to establish a valuable walnut genepool. To improve the present assortment of generative rootstocks in walnut and to examine the infestation level, a long term survey was carried out in Eastern Transylvania. The main physical characteristics of fruits and its variation to the infestation level were considered. The cumulative distribution of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis and Gnomonia leptostyla were relatively low and the maximum value was around 15%. The highest infestation of husk with X. arboricola pv. juglandis was observed for roundish forms and differences were statistically significant comparing with other phenotypes. Infestation with G. leptostyla was similar for roundish, elliptic and thwarting egg-shaped phenotypes, while the husk infestation for egg-shaped phenotypes was not observed. The walnut population studied in our experiment can be considered as a genetically valuable population. More than 20% of them have upper class quality fruits with at least or more than 50% of nutmeat. Do to the large scale climate variation in Eastern Transylvania and the high humidity favourable for pathogen infestations, these population can be considered resistant and well adapted to abiotic and biotic factors.

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Comparative performance of traps for the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae) baited with female-targeted or male-targeted lures

Results of trapping trials in Italy confirmed that the non-sticky CSALOMON® VARs+ funnel trap was highly efficient for the capture of Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae), when baited with either male-targeted (trimedlure), or synthetic female-targeted (ammonium carbonate, ammonium acetate, tri...methylamine, putrescine) baits. Trimedlure-baited traps caught ten times more flies (all males), than traps with synthetic female-targeted lures (which cauught predominantly females). Although less efficient, traps with the female-targeted lures had the significant advantage over trimedlure that they attracted predominantly females, so in cases when for control or experimental purposes the capture of female flies is more informative (i.e. timing of egg-laying, fertility and fecundity studies, etc.), these lures would be the best choice. The present results suggested that putrescine could be left out from female-targeted lure combinations without dramatic change in activity.

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In vitro multiplication and hardening of grapevine plants in aeriated media

In vitro cultures have widely been used in horticulture for rapid multiplication of new varieties and clones as well as to produce pathogen-free stock material. To improve efficient hardening and transfer in vitro grown grapevine plants were multiplied by cutting them into single-node internodes with the whole leaf. Microcutti...ngs including the shoot tips were rooted in granulated perlite moisted with tapwater under sterile conditions. After 2-3 weeks the rooted microcuttings were supplied by nutrients and hardened by gradual opening and finally by complete removal of the lids of jars or plastic boxes used for growth. Using this method microcuttings of Vitis vinifera cvs. „Chardonnay", „Cabernet franc", „Riesling" and „Sauvignon blanc" and the rootstock varieties Vitis riparia x Vitis cinerea cv. „Barrier" and Vitis berlandieri x Vitis rupestris cv. „Richter 110" formed new roots and shoots and 100% of the tested plants survived the acclimatization procedure. Similar results were obtained when perlite was replaced with rockwool-, or pit-pot blocks. This method may highly increase the efficiency of producing pathogen-free propagating material and new transgenic lines.

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The evaluation of grape vine decline pathogens in the experimental field of the Georgikon Faculty of Agriculture in Cserszegtomaj

Vine decline causes important economic loss in viticulture, especially in longer view. Several causal pathogen were described lately, however little is known about the etiology or epidemiology of these pathogens on grapevine rootstock. It is well known that these diseases affect grafted and rooted grapevines and are not specific to any scion-ro...otstock combinations. Our aim was to determine what pathogens are presents in the experimental field, especially causal agents of the rootstock decline. Different grapevine rootstocks and scion varieties were tested in our trial. Isolations were made from the wood tissue and pathogenity tests were done with isolated Cylindrocarpon destructans. The possibility of infection during the propagation process was studied as well. Most commonly Cylindrocarpon sp. and Phomopsis sp. species were identified from the examined varieties. Cylindrocarpon destructans was able to spread to apical (shoot) and basal (root) direction from the point of infection with uneven speed. Callus development is not inhibited by the fungi causing the leaf symptom of the vine decline. Shoot development is reduced if unhealthy parts are grafted to each other.

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Impact of foliar fungi on dogroses

Wild roses of the section Caninae, commonly known as dogroses, have been described as more disease tolerant than ornamental roses and could therefore become valuable for breeding improved rose cultivars. Two fields with dogroses, one with plants obtained by open pollination in wild populations, and one with plants obtained from intra- ...and interspecific crosses, were evaluated for blackspot, powdery mildew, rust and leafspots in the autumn of 2005. Symptoms of the different fungi on different dogrose species were carefully evaluated in a microscope and documented by photography. Interestingly, almost no symptoms of powdery mildew were found in either field, although the fungus infected wild roses of a different section in a field closeby. Surprisingly few symptoms were found also of blackspot, and they differed considerably from those found on ornamental cultivars, indicating a lower susceptibility in dogroses. The most important fungal disease in 2005 was rust, followed by leafspot symptoms. The latter were apparently caused by Sphaceloma rosarum and Septoria rosae which can be properly discriminated only in a microscope. The investigated dogrose species and their progeny groups varied significantly in disease susceptibility and in the appearance of encountered symptoms but there was no evidence of major resistance genes, except possibly in Rosa rubiginosa which did not show any symptoms of Septoria. In 2006, a subset of the plant material in Field 1 was evaluated to check for consistency between the years. Leafspots had overtaken rust as the most important disease but results were otherwise very similar to those of 2005.

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Comparative study of heirloom tomato varieties

The study examined the health status, growth type, berry morphology, berry quality, and gastronomical value of 60 heirloom tomato lines. In the middle of June, the level of virus infection was medium in the plant stock according to the assessments. 21% of the lines did not show symptoms of virus infection. During the vegetation period, the majo...r fungal diseases were Alternaria by the middle of August and Phytophthora from the beginning of September. In spite of the fact that no fungicides were applied, 13% of the lines were healthy and 36% showed medium infection at the end of August. Half of the lines had a strong, 23% of the lines had a medium growth vigour. The majority (74%) of the lines showed strong or medium lateral shoot growth and only 7% of them proved to be less prone to branching. In spite of the rapid growth, 20% of the lines had a weak main stem, the majority of the lines had a main stem medium strength. The different shapes occurred in different colours, in addition to the traditional red colour (53%), there were orange, yellow, wine-red (blackish), lilac, green, almost white or multicoloured varieties. Unfortunately, most of the lines were prone to longitudinal or circular cracking of the berries. Based on the first experiences, all tested variety types had more favourable utilization characteristics then the traditional tomatoes. Varieties with a thick flesh and harmonic acid/sugar ratio such as some of the ox-heart varieties are especially valuable. For drying, the elongated types proved to be the best. The hollow tomato is the most special type which can be utilized most diversely. It is especially suitable for making white tomato soup and, “Concasse" due to its easily removable placenta rich in jelly materials and its thick flesh. In addition, it can be used for preparing stuffed tomato.

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Transmethylation and the general defense reaction of plants

Plant breeding for resistance, namely building specific resistance genes into cultivated plants to ensure resistance against certain pathogen species, is a several-decade-long practice. While looking for purposes of failures appearing during the cultivation of varieties created in this way, a plant feature that ensures non-specific reactions ag...ainst effects which evoke biotic stress attracted our attention. We named this plant defense form the general defense reaction. The general defense reaction is a fundamental attribute of the plant kingdom, fulfils the role of plant immune system and manifests itself in cell enlargement and cell division. Plants with a high level general defense reaction endure abiotic stresses as well.

In studying the biochemical background of the interaction of the general defense reaction and transmethylation, we found that transmethylation has important role in warding off both biotic and abiotic stresses. According to our observations, plants possessing high level general defense system are suitable for thorough examination of the process and plant physiological role of transmethylation. Biochemical studies also strengthened our observation, which has been taken on the basis of phenotype, that the general defense system can not be ignored during future plant breeding.

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Efficacy of ethrel (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid) as a chemical hybridizing agent in red pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. Pusa jwala)

A field experiment was conducted during 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 to study the effect of foliar sprays of ethrel or ethephon (2- chloroethyl phosphonic acid) on pollen sterility and yield parameters in Capsicum annuum var. Pusa jwala. Effect of treatments was also studied in F1 hybrids raised from treated male sterile plants crossed with... the control plants. Plants sprayed with 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3% (v/v) ethrel exhibited 93.1-100% pollen sterility. This was associated with significant reduction in yield parameters (number of flowers, fruits/plant, fruit size, number of seeds/fruit and total yield/plant). However, the plants sprayed only once with 0.1% ethrel at pre-meiotic stage showed 93.1% pollen sterility without any significant reduction in yield parameter. The F1 hybrids obtained by crossing the 100% male sterile treated plants with the pollen of untreated (control) plants exhibited only insignificant reduction in the number of flowers/ plant, fruits/plant, fruit size, number of seeds/fruit and total yield/plant. However, these parameters in F1 hybrids were significantly higher over the treated plants.

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Study on the mushroom species Agaricus blazei (Murill)

Nowadays, Agaricus blazei is known all over the world as a mushroom species with unparalleled medicinal properties besides its culinary delights and therefore its regular consumption is recommended in the first place for the prevention of various cancers. For the past decade researchers have been active in the study of its therapeutic ...properties. Its production started only a decade ago and there are a number of questions yet to be answered. At the moment, the most widespread technique is to grow it using composts similar to those of the button mushroom. In contrast to the common button mushroom, its production differs markedly from that of the button mushroom in that it develops fruiting bodies only in light and requires that the compost temperature be high, around 25 °C, also in the fruiting period and has a much higher need for fresh air. It is also sold in fresh form but mainly as a dried product, in powdered form or as capsules or pills.

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The effect of pre-fruiting temperatures on the yield of Pleurotus strains

Authors studied the effect of different temperatures prior to fruit body appearance on the yield of 3 Pleurotus strains P70, HK35 and 357. After 17 days of incubation at 25 °C and 28 °C the substrate blocks were kept for 7 days at 13, 16, 19, 22 and 25 °C. Then temperature was reduces to 16 °C during harvest time. Tests showed difference of... some degrees in the optimal prefruiting temperature requirements of the strains which could result in even in 10-15% surplus yield. It is advisable to use technologies specially adapted to strains.

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