Vol 16, No 4 (2010)

Published August 16, 2010



Sunburn assessment: A critical appraisal of methods and techniques for characterizing the damage to apple fruit

Many methods and techniques have been introduced for measuring alterations in the fruit and in its surrounding environment related to sunburn incidence. The research objectives, fruit materials and the environment to be evaluated dictate the methods to follow. These procedures are either non-destructive and involve techniques that allow us to t...rack the course of sunburn development and related environmental parameters, or destructive and involve the removal of fruit from the tree for field/laboratory measurements. Techniques employed can be used for pre-symptomatic monitoring (before symptoms become visible) or characterizing the symptoms already present. The principles behind the measurements and their usefulness for sunburn assessments are discussed and critically evaluated in this review paper. Descriptions and evaluations of the methods and techniques were made in the following groups: 1. Thermal measurements; 2. Visual assessments; 3. Fruit quality measurements; 4. Measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations; and 5. Practical evaluation of sunburn damage. Thermal measurements involve methods tracking the ambient temperature and fruit surface temperature, and their relation to sunburn formation. Visual assessments cover all measuring techniques (skin color, chlorophyll fluorescence, radiation reflection, electron microscopy) that are able to detect changes on/in the fruit skin related to sunburn formation. Fruit quality measurements are used to point out differences in qualities (soluble solids, firmness, titratable acidity, and water content) between unaffected and sunburned areas of the fruit. The measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations (gas exchange, pigment analysis, enzyme activity, gene expression) give us a better insight to the mechanism of sunburn formation. Practical evaluations involve many procedures that are used by scientists to characterize the susceptibility of cultivars, evaluate protection technology, etc. For this purpose, the following methods are in use: expressing the percentage of the total fruit surface area affected by sunburn or the percentage of the total number of fruits damaged on the tree, or even a scale based on the severity of the symptoms occurred. All assessing methods and techniques described here have their pros and cons as well as their specific applicability, therefore any of these cannot be favored to use exclusively for assessing sunburn incidence. The combination of these techniques will be the best choice to meet a given research objective perfectly.

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Characterization of sunburn damage to apple fruits and leaves

The specific conditions of the formation of three different types of sunburn (sunburn browning, sunburn necrosis, and photooxidative sunburn) have been recently characterized on apple fruit. However, no information is still available on leaf damage. Therefore, the aims of this study were i) to extend the knowledge on fruit damage, ii) character...ize leaf damage and iii) find relationship between fruit and leaf damage. The observations were made on 586 apple accessions in a gene bank orchard located in Hungary. The incidence of the three different types of fruit symptoms were recorded and based on the visual symptoms, two different types of leaf sunburn (sunburn yellowing and sunburn necrosis) were characterized. The most frequent type of fruit sunburn observed was sunburn browning. Photooxidative sunburn was found for less number of accessions, and only some accessions were affected by sunburn necrosis. Fruit were far more susceptible than leaves; (>60%) of the examined accessions were affected by fruit damage and (<3%) by leaf damage. Although a large number of accessions were affected, the percentage of fruit damaged within accessions was not that excessive; ~6% of the fruit assessed showed the symptoms of sunburn browning. Significantly fewer fruit were damaged by sunburn necrosis (~1%) or photooxidative sunburn (~1.4%) than sunburn browning. The percentage of leaves damaged within accessions were simlarly very low (~1%). Close relationship between fruit and leaf damage was found. Accesions with relatively heavily sunburned leaves usually had severe fruit damage as well. Leaves showing sunburn symptoms were usually closely located around those fruit which were sunburned severely. Leaf damage of sunburn was found on spur leaves in a great majority of the accessions damaged, shoot leaves did not seem to be susceptible to sunburn.

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Comparison of frost damages in apple plantations cultivated with environmental friendly growing technology

The global changes in climate and meteorological conditions have many negative consequences, which may diminished with adequate measures. In our continental climate, the winter frosts but also the late spring frosts are always threatening. There are technologies to avoid late frost damages (with spray irrigation or with smoking), but against wi...nter minima, we are nearly helpless. The different damages experienced recently called our attention on the question of optimal condition, which is a delicate balance between the vegetative activity and the provision of nutrients. The excesses on both ends are increasing the danger of damages (Zatykó, 1980). Our examination was performed in the plantation, which was cultivated according to ecological and integrated technologies. The variable condition of the trees gave opportunity to evaluate the effects of cold temperatures as frost damages. Our results will represent not only the differences between varieties but also the effects of the growing technologies – which influence the condition of the plants – consequently, the measure of frost damages.

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Comparison of pear production areas from yield risk aspect

There are three main pear production regions in Hungary. The most relevant is theWest-Transdanubian (Zala, Vas and Gyôr-Moson-Sopron counties), where up to 30% of total pear production occurs. The second most productive region is Pest County, where pear is grown mostly in gardens and garden plots, resulting in 15-20% of Hungarian production. I...n the northern Hungarian region (Bodrog valley in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Heves and Nógrád counties), the microclimate is perfect for optimal pear production. In our analysis, we focused on four plantations that are dominant in pear production in Hungary. Two of them are situated in south-western Hungary, one of them is in South Transdanubia and one is in North Hungary. Considering the personal attitude of the decision maker towards risk, the best alternative is ‘Williams’ in Alsóberecki, as the yield risk is the lowest with this variety, while the second best alternative is ‘Bosc Beurre,’ also produced in Alsóberecki. This is an irrigated area, and this fact evidently decreases the yield risk. The highest risk is in Bánfapuszta and in Zalasárszeg, for the non-irrigated ‘Williams’ variety. The highest yield with the lowest risk can be obtained with irrigation. Nevertheless, in the case that relevant data are available, and by incorporating cost and expected profit data, the stochastic dominance method is suitable for financial risk assessment, as well.

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Extreme weather events inWest Hungary

Agricultural production is a rather risky activity, as it is largely exposed to extreme weather events. This paper focuses on the frost and hail data in springtime, affecting fruit production in West Hungary. Regarding absolute minimum temperatures in April, significant increase of the standard deviations could be observed. Among the sites exam...ined Nagykanizsa shows the highest risk values. According to our evaluation Nagykanizsa is not recommended to plant sour cherry, sweet cherry and apricot orchards because in some years spring frost will occur. If the plantation is in Zalaegerszeg, Szombathely, Gyôr or Keszthely than usage of frost prevention system is recommended. Siófok is the only area to grow apricot with good result.

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Spring frost effects on 30 sweet cherries varieties grown in North Italy

After a spring frost occurred in second half of March 2008, with temperatures below 0°C for 8 days consecutively and an absolute minimum of -5.5°C, a lot of observations have been made on the sweet cherry flowers damages. In three different orchards “Italian palmetta” trained on grassing ground soil, the percentage of the flowers killed b...y frost, was detected and recorded considering the different genotypes and flowers height from the ground. Furthermore, in one orchard only it was possible to find relationship between flowering stage and frost damage. The results clearly confirm our previous works about the highest mortality of the flower in the upper part ( > 1.50 m) of the canopy and in the full bloom open flowers. So, in this area, the easiness of agronomic operations, like pruning and, especially, fruit harvest, due to the crown proximity to the ground, is cancelled by the frequency of spring frost.

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Correlation of precipitation distribution and quality sweet cherry production

Sweet and sour cherry need 550–600 mm yearly precipitation. The critical period is 1–1.5 month after flowering, it is normally between 15.April – 15. June in Hungary. The rain induced fruit cracking is also a critical and costly problem for cherry growers. Fruits grown under arid conditions are less resistant against rainfall during harve...st and up to 50–60% crack damage may occur. A computer program was developed to calculate the precipitation related production risks of sweet cherry. Focus of the research was Zala county. Spatial distribution of precipitation was compared in two directions (East and North of Zala county) based on the data of meteorological stations. The first results indicate that the developed method estimates the risks quite well, compared to the farm experiment results. The developed computer program can be parameterised according to the user’s requirements, this allows to take into account the real variety structure of a given orchard.

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Detemination of the time of pruning regarding the ability of developing flower buds and their frost tolerance in sweet cherry varieties

In sweet cherry growing, intense technology is introduced as the up to date development. Among the elements of the technology are the choice of variety, planting design and pruning are the main elements. The methods, intensity and the timing of pruning are largely dependent from the growing habits of the varieties, the light demand of the parts... of different age and their tendency of getting bald on the aging zones. One of the main limiting factors of production, the frost damages are outstanding. In choosing the site of plantation, we must avoid the places, where spring frosts used to occur, the next moment is the role of the variety and the technology applied. In Hungary, the late or spring frosts are considered, however, the winter frosts may also cause heavy losses, which depend also on the health and nutritional condition of the trees when being exposed to temperature minima. Our present study is based on a 9-year-old plantation trained to slender spindle as well as to free spindle crown. We observed the development of fruiting structures and their frost damage also in relation with the timing of the pruning operations during the winter or summer, and compared also the varieties with each other.

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Climatic indicators regarding the rest period of sour cherry

Sour cherry production in the world is increasing gradually. Profitable production, i.e. yield, depends largely on weather conditions. If Hungary wishes to keep up with the most successful countries, attention should be paid to the weather during the dormancy period, being definitely decisive from the points of view of quality as well as quanti...ty. In order to predict the expected risk factors, characterisation of the most important weather parameters is necessary. For that purpose, the database of the Institute of Research and Extension Service for Fruit Growing at Újfehértó Ltd. has been utilised. Records of weather conditions were collected throughout the period 1984-2005, i.e. daily minimum, maximum and mean temperatures (°C), and phenological diary of sour cherry varieties ’Újfehértói fürtös’, ’Kántorjánosi’ and ’Debreceni bôtermô’. For the future expectations study we have used the RegCM3.1 regional climate model with 10 km resolution. Data of 4 indicators have been traced: Average temperatures, Number of days without frost, Maximum length of periods without frost, Maximum length of frosty period. On the one hand, we surveyed the changes; on the other hand, estimates have been attempted for the future changes expected during the following decades.

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Flower density and winter damage of apricot and peach varieties

Hungary is located on the northern boundary of economical apricot and peach production. The present assortment of varieties and the actual, not adequately selected growing sites cause a permanent risk of winter and spring frosts in their cultivation. The field observations are performed at Debrecen, the Experiment Station Pallag, on 20 apricot ...and 21 peach varieties. The flower density among the varieties attained 3-4-fold differences. Three categories have been suggested for both species. The density was inferior in Hungary established varieties compared with the new varieties of foreign origin. The minimum temperatures of January 9, 2009 was –17,6 °C , and of December 21, 2009 also –17,6 °C. In some varieties the damage of buds attained 100%. For estimating the yield security, we need to consider also the flower density and the frost damage together. For a mediocre yield, we need a flower density in both species of at least 0.2 living bud/cm. The results confirm the statement that in Hungary, the revision of growing sites is indispensable in order to develop a profitable and competitive apricot and peach growing industry.

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The effect of cooling irrigation on the blooming dynamic of plum

The objective of the present study is to explore the effect of cooling irrigation (aspersion) on the beginning of bloom and on the micro-climate of the plantation. The results show that the water sprayed in the orchard by micro-jet influenced decisively the temperature of the plantation. At higher temperatures (around 20 °C), the drop of tempe...rature may attain 5–7 °C. A low relative humidity of the air may increase the relative effect, The frequent repetition (20 minute intervals) may keep the temperature low also in the buds. The beginning of bloom may delayed for more than ten days. The dynamics of blooming was characterised by a logistic curve in the treated as well as in the control plot. In the treated plot, the curve was steeper than in the control in spite of equal temperatures measured in the plots. Under our (Hungarian) climatic conditions, the method is successfully used to delay blooming dates. The main result is the diminution of the frost damage in the spring and the security of yield. The costs and water requirement should be calculated later.

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Hazardous element content and consumption risk of 9 apricot cultivars

The heavy metals pollution is one of the problems that arise due to the increased uses of fertilizers and other chemicals to meet the higher demands of food production for human consumption. In order to assess possible health risk of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) consumption, levels of Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury and Lead were determined in fresh... and dried samples of "Jumbo cot", "Tom cot", "Gold strike", "Gold bar", "Bergeron", "Bergarouge", "Sweet cot", "Yellow cot" and "Zebra" apricot cultivars. Wet digestion of samples with concentrate HNO3 – H2O2 digester mixture and inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectroscopy was used. Highest content of As, Cd, Hg and Pb among all cultivars, were 0.5, 0.04, 1.5 and 0.5mg/kg of dried apricot samples. Fresh fruit samples also contain 0.2, 0.016, 0.6 and 0.2 mg/kg of Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury and Lead respectively. Daily intake of metals, hazard quotient and health risk index to reveal health risk possibility of dried and fresh fruits consumption were calculate and compared.

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The main properties of fruit offered on the retail market in Hungary

The small enterprises of the Hungarian retail market of food and related commodities are in a dismal crisis, many of them got bankruptcy, whereas fruit and vegetables are offered in large shop-chains and supermarkets. Traditional small shops near to the domiciles are still highly esteemed by the population and their lack is regretted especially... because of commodities for fresh consumption. For the purpose to evaluate the situation, I planned the comparative study of fruits offered in the retail markets by tracing their origin, quality and prices. From the six shops selected for the study three represent department stores belonging to different chains. Independent entrepreneurs manage the next three shops of vegetables with own suppliers. It was stated that the retail shops offer mainly fruits of Hungarian growers. It is however worthwhile to state that the origin of the produce was frequently not marked. The fruits imported from abroad, apple, pear, peach, were sold at substantially higher prices than those of Hungarian origin.

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Economic figures of apple production at national level of Hungary

After the change of the political system the main looser was in Hungary the fruit-growing branch. The yields varied at high amplitudes, and the production increased slowly in spite of multiple planting activities. The European Union ranked fruit production “loosely” to the products, which allows the extension of its markets. Thus I decided ...to analyse the economic relations of the period between 2002 and 2008 in order to reveal the main effects of movements. The pictures are the resultants of a heterogeneous population, which cannot be influenced on the level of enterprises. But they are utilised for the recognition of challenges and trends on the level of branches of economy. The immediate costs increased the production monotonously, which cannot be compensated by a thrifty management of the general costs. Thus costs of production increased dramatically, whereas the marketing of products could not realise the values.

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Economics of apple-storage I: Comparative time series analysis of apple producer prices in Germany and Hungary

Based on standard econometric methods the article analyses the time series of fresh apple producer prices in domestic markets of Germany and Hungary. In Germany, as a consequence of high storage capacities the quantity offered in different parts of the season is relatively stable, that’s why only a rather limited price increasing can be detec...ted. In Hungary, as a consequence of the limited storage capacity this fluctuation is much more important. The modern methods of time series analysis (ARIMA models, stepwise regression) can be efficiently applied for forecasting of price movements.

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Sour cherry for fresh consumption in the retail sector A consumer aspect

The basic objective of our study is the promotion of fresh consumption of sour cherry and the enhancement of necessary knowledge. Primer collection of data was planned in three groups of retail shops, always sour cherry being the matter of study. The sampling dates were adapted to the sour cherry season weeks in Hungary. Three samples per week ...have been taken. Every time a short interview and purchase was planned. Every time, it was stated that the commodity was held for a longer period on the shelf, which trespasses the optimum of the fruit. At the same time there was no concordance between quality and price. From the point of view of the consumer this cannot be accepted.

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THE STEPS (Dissertations the fruit growing troll)

The Steps (Dissertations the fruit growing troll) on front-page of volume are visible ruins and stairway of the famous Machu Picchu. Five  selfdetermined head stands the volume, essentially the author yet career one - one station, which the plant sexuality, the fruit cropping and sure environmental and plant health problems searching is co...mprising reached results engaged on 310 page, with 130 tables and 79 figures. The volume is brandnew notification shape in Hungarian and international scientific literature.

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