The inheritance and durability of scab resistance in apple progenies

In order to select the appropriate parent cultivars and maintain the durability of resistance, it is important to clarify the mechanisms of inheritance of scab resistance depending on the parents. It has been known that the progeny segregation ratios based on scab-resistance do not depend only on the genotype of the resistance locus but also on the genetical makeup of the donor and recipient parents as well as on the susceptible parent.

The aim of this study has been to demonstrate what factors in the Vf, Vr and VA scab-resistant cultivars — combined with susceptible and resistant parents — affect the inheritance and durability of resistance in seedlings in their first 4 year's growing four years' growth. After inoculating apple seedlings sown in 2001 with the suspension of Venturia inaequalis (Cke.) Wint. in the greenhouse, we studied the segregation ratios of the progenies into reaction classes. Seedlings showing resistance in the greenhouse were also evaluated for scab-resistance after they had been moved to the field and had naturally been infected with the pathogen in 2002 and 2004.

The majority of our results obtained in the greenhouse test, similarly to earlier experiences, have not justified monogenic inheritance at the phenotypic level. The effect of susceptible parent cultivars on the segregation ratio of progenies have become apparent again. The high infection rate of seedlings in the field trials, which had previously exhibited varying degrees of resistance in the greenhouse test, has raised concern. Our data has raised further doubts, concerning the durability of Vf resistance in Hungary. It is assumed that the composition of natural field populations of Venturia inaequalis in Szigetcsép has changed. The complexity of Vf resistance has been confirmed. The high infection rate in the progenies derived from Vf resistant cultivars draws the attention to the importance of utilizing additional sources of resistance.

Contributions to the resumption of growth in ecodormant buds of apple

The resumption of development in ecodormant buds in terms of establishing a functional vascular connection between the inflorescence primordia and spur tissues in apple trees was investigated. Differentiation of the xylem elements could be observed first in the pedicel of the flower primordium, in the middle of January. Much later (at the beginning of April) there were mature xylem vessels in the wall of the receptacle and, merely a procambial strand for the ovule primordium which was at this time an undifferentiated protrusion of meristematic cells, only. As for phenological development of buds incubated at a temperature of 20 °C, it was the slowest in buds sampled in January, faster in buds sampled in the middle of February and, buds from the middle of March responded very quickly. The function of temperatures needed both for xylem differentiation and for the flower primordium to achieve maturity is pointed out. The nature of frost damage in vessel elements, as well the relationship between chilling requirement and growth features of apple cultivars will be discussed.

Genetic diversity in a collection of apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) cultivars as revealed by RAPD markers

A collection of 151 apple cultivars was investigated with 7 RAPD primers generating 71 informative bands, to evaluate genetic variability and relatedness. All cultivars presumably derived through genetic recombination were distinguished whereas identical DNA profiles indicated that some cultivars had arisen as sports. A cluster analysis and a PCO did not reveal any distinct geographic patterns, but there was a weak tendency for Swedish and foreign cultivars to differentiate.. Many cultivars however clustered together with either one of their parents or with siblings. Overall genetic diversity among the 151 cultivars was estimated with Nei's diversity index (H), 0.269, and with Shannon's index (H'), 0.594. The cultivars were also analysed in six groups, according to time of origination and country of origin, with an average H = 0.262 and H' = 0.546. No major differences in genetic diversity were observed over time or space, although the group with recent, foreign cultivars had the lowest diversity (FL = 0.235, H' = 0.493). Comparison between the entire material and a subset with 94 mandate cultivars chosen for preservation in Sweden, showed similar genetic diversity: HFN.rj1E = 0.268, frE,NTIRE, = 0.593 and HMANDATE = 0.263, WMANDATE = 0.575. No major differences in band frequencies were observed between these two sets, but 5 RAPD bands were missing in the set with mandate cultivars.

Identification of the apple firmness: two case studies

Firmness tests were performed with peeled and entire fruits of Elstar and Jonagold apple cultivars for identification and comparison. The normal distribution of the tested population was acceptable (level: 95%). The green and the red sides did not show differences within the cultivar but they were different in firmness. There was not significant difference between the flesh tissue firmness values, however the firmness of the entire (not peeled) fruits was different. This result was caused by the effect of the peel. The variability of the firmness with Jonagold was caused by the peel, but such a result was not found with Elstar. The test of the peel effect would be interesting with different cultivars and a sequence according to the firmness can be estimated.


Preliminary study on micro area based spatial distribution of powdery mildew in an organic apple orchard

In this study, the objective was to report a preliminary study on micro area based spatial distribution of powdery mildew in an organic apple orchard. Results showed that number of symptomatic plant part ranged between 11 and 20 on shoot and between 9 and 24 on fruit. Number of asymptomatic plant part ranged between 85 and 109 on shoot and between 133 and 206 on fruit. Disease incidence ranged between 13.8 and 17.6% on shoot and between 9.1 and 11.3% on fruit. Disease aggregation index ranged between 0.098 and 0.228 on shoot and between 0.043 and 0.108 on fruit. One of the four trees showed significant within canopy aggregation of disease for shoot powdery mildew symptoms in both years. For leaf powdery mildew, all tree exhibited random patterns in both years.

The effect of the intensity and method of pruning on the growth and yield of the apple variety ’Idared’ under conditions of ecological and integrated growing systems

Summary: On the Experimental Farm of the Debrecen University at Pallag, a factorial experiment has been started at springtime of 2008 on an orchard of 12 year old apple trees ’Idared’ grafts on M 26 understocks. The first factor was the growing system (integrated versus ecological), the second was the intensity of pruning (strong versus moderate thinning of the crown), whereas the third was the method of pruning (shortening versus thinning of individual shoots). Measurements have been concentrated on shoot growth, flower initiation, fruit set and accumulated yield of two successive seasons. The following conclusions are made.
– In the ecological growing system, strong thinning proved to be beneficial for growth as well as for fruit bearing. – Strong thinning combined with shortening of shoots diminished yield in the first year, whereas
moderate thinning combined with shortening of shoots caused favourable growth and fruit bearing.
– In the ecological growing system, the moderate shoot growth was associated with better flower initiation, which increases the chances of alternate yielding.
– According to our results, the flower initiation of the ‘Idared’ was stimulated univocally by the thinning of shoots regardless of the intensity of pruning.
The right choice of the intensity and method of pruning is a decisive moment of a successful yield in the ecological apple growing system

Prediction infection risk on the basis of weather-related factors and Erwinia amylovora colonization in apple and pear flowers

Current infection risk prediction models utilize environmental parameters and field records, but do not take into account the estimated inoculum potential within the orchard. The object of this study was to survey the accuracy of three simple prediction methods under Hungarian climatic conditions, which could easily be used by the farmers. We also tested whether the accuracy of infection risk predictions can be improved by taking into consideration the incidence and/or rate of flower colonization by Erwinia amylovora.

After preliminary investigations in 1999-2001, data concerning the weather-related infection risk were recorded in 5 apple and 1 pear orchards in 2002, and in 12 apple and I pear orchards in 2003. The weather data were processed by the easy-to-use risk assessment models of the mean temperature prediction line (MTL), Smith's Cougarblight 98C and Billing's integrated system (BIS), and by the MaryblytTM 4.3 computer-assisted model for reference. The population size of E. amylovora in the flower samples was estimated within an order of magnitude by PCR.

For all years and orchards tested, Maryblyt indicated 35 days on which there was an acute infection risk. The same days were indicated by all 3 methods in 23 cases (66%), 8 days were indicated by 2 methods (23%) and 4 days were indicated by 1 method only. A similarly good correlation was found for prediction of the date of the first massive infection risk: in 2003, for instance, there was a perfectly consistent prediction by all 4 models in 9 of the 13 participating orchards. A coincidental forecast was provided by 3 of the 4 models in the other 4 orchards.

The results indicate that any of the risk assessment models could provide an increased accuracy of the actual infection risk prediction if combined with an estimation of the incidence of Erwinia amylovora colonization in the open flowers. We found no convincing differences in the size of the epiphytic population in flowers of cultivars possessing high or low susceptibility to Erwinia amylovora.

We conclude that the easy-to-use methods tested could be used by the fanners to recognize weather-related risks, especially when coupled with an estimation of the proportion of the pathogen-infested flowers. This local prediction would provide rapid information (faster than the regional forecast systems) specifically for a given orchard.

Flower production of apple varieties grown by different environmental technologies

The flower production of four apple varieties have been observed grown in integrated and in ecological growing technologies during the spring of 2010. The trees produced in the last year (2009) nearly similar yields, so the effect of the technologies may causen differences in the production of flowers. According to our results, the ecological technology produced higher flower densities in the majority of variables, which was in relation with the vigor, branching and thickening of the trunks. The varieties observed displayed substantial differences in the appearance of fruiting structures of different age on the branches. This information may prove to be essential for the decisions to be made in timing and severity at the pruning operations.

Spore dispersal, diurnal pattern and viability of Monilinia spp. conidia and the relationship with weather components in an organic apple orchard

In a two-year Hungarian study, spore dispersal diurnal periodicity and viability of Monilinia spp. and their relation to weather components were determined in an organic apple orchard. Conidia of Monilinia spp. were first trapped in late May in both years. Low number of conidia were trapped until end-June. Thereafter, number of conidia continuously increased until harvest. Conidia in a 24-h period showed diurnal periodicity pattern, with th highest concentration in the afternoon hours. Spore viability with FDA staining showed that viability of
conidia ranged from 45 to 70% with showing lower viability in the dry than in the wet days in both years. Temperature and relative humidity correlated positively with mean hourly conidia numbers in both years. Mean hourly rainfall was negatively but poorly correlated with conidiacatches in both years. Results were compared and discussed with previous observations.

Integration of terrestrial laser scanning and spectral canopy scanner in horticulture applications

One of the most difficult challenge in the everyday practice to describe the canopy growing of fruit trees in an orchard. The photosynthetic activity is the basic of the primer production of plants. The measurement of leaf area and determination of the photosynthetic activity could be occurred with some elaborated methods between experimental conditions. In this article we present such an integrated methodology, which is ideal to determine the geometric and spectral characteristic of fruit trees between field conditions.We have carried out laser scanning technology to investigate the geometric-topological characteristics and parallel the active infra-red sensor to collect spectral data about an apple orchard. The surveys were worked out in an intensive apple orchard with drip irrigation system, protected by hail net in Study and Regional Research Farm of the University of Debrecen near Pallag. This study shows the filtering and interpretation methods of created data. The produced high accuracy data can be directly used in the precision horticulture. It could serve as a guiding data to implementation a future “virtual horticulture”. Higher spatial and temporal resolution could help for a better recognition of water balance of orchards.

Test of the utility of apple retrotransposon insertion patterns for molecular identification of 'Jonathan' somatic mutants

Up until today, apple sport mutants proved to be indistinguishable from each other and their progenitors at the molecular level using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker techniques. This is not surprising, since the genomes of these somatic mutants differ only in one or a few small regions that affect economically important characteristics, such as improved fruit colour, size, or flavour. In most cases, these genome differences are probably caused by retrotransposons which are able to convert their RNA transcripts to DNA with reverse transcriptase enzyme prior to reinsertion, but unable to leave the genome and infect other cells. Retrotransposon insertions can alter the expression of other genes and/or the structure of encoded proteins. The sequence-specific amplified polymorphism (S-SAP) technique is capable of revealing the genetic distribution of retrotransposable elements over the whole genome. The present study used this approach to try to characterize and distinguish 'Jonathan' somatic mutants via fingerprinting, which is an unsolved problem.

Dynamics of the uptake of nutrient elements from the medium of in vitro cultured apple rootstocks

Cation uptake of J-TE-F apple rootstocks propagated in vitro was studied by the analysis of culture medium. Test-plants were grown on liquid medium under different light regimes. Samples for tests were taken twice a week.

Media without plants served as controls. The analysis of those showed, that only the uptakeable iron-content changed depending upon light treatment. The concentration of all other cations was considered unaltered.

As a result of analysis, it could be established, that elements present in the media were taken up in different rates by plantlets: Cu, P and Zn were utilized totally, but only 50% of K and 20 to 40% of Ca and Mg were taken up under the light treatments applied.

The dynamics of the uptake process was also observed. It was registered that they differed in the case of some cations. So Ba was utilized at the beginning of subculture, others for example B in the later phases. Some elements disappeared unevenly so K, P but the whole quantity is taken up during subculture.

Preliminary study on micro area based spatial distribution of Monilinia fructigena in an organic apple orchard

In this study, we aimed to report a preliminary study on micro area based spatial distribution of Monilinia fructigena in an organic apple orchard. Results showed that number of symptomatic fruit ranged between 22 and 42 in 2013 and between 25 and 35 in 2014. Number of asymptomatic fruit ranged between 111 and 187 in 2013 and between 119 and 167 in 2014. Disease incidence of fruit ranged between 19.7 and 23.2% in 2013 and between 19.1 and 26.5% in 2014. Disease aggregation index ranged between 0.111 and 0.335 in 2013 and between 123 and 401 in 2014. Three of the four trees showed significant within canopy aggregation of disease for fruit brown rot symptoms in both years. However, the remaining one tree exhibited random patterns during both years. Disease aggregation indicated a disease spread by fruit-to-fruit contact and/or an aggregated
pattern of insect damage.

Effects of integrated and ecological growing technologies on the growth and development of fruiting structures in new apple plantations

On the Horticultural Station of the Debrecen University, Pallag, two year old apple plantations of two varieties (‘Pinova’, ‘Golden Reinders’) have been studied, in autumn 2011. The growth of the cross section area of the trunk and the central axis were measured and compared to evaluate the effect of two alternative growing technologies: integrated and/or ecological. ‘Pinova’ proved to grow more intensely than ‘Golden Reinders’ independently from the growing technology. The effect of the technology, however, was expressed in ‘Pinova’, where the integrated technology produced more vigorous growth than the ecological one. The effect of varieties on growing intensity was more distinct than the effect of growing technologies. Under the ecological growing system, the difference between the varieties studied is more accentuated regarding growing intensity. By that reason, in ecological growing plantations of varieties with moderate vigour ought to be stimulated by all possible techniques (as pruning, nutrition etc.).

Vegetative and generative properties of two apple cultivars ‘Galiwa’ and ‘Story Inored’ in a multi-row system

In a five-year (2015-2019) study, some vegetative and generative peculiarities of two resistant apple cultivars (‘Galiwa’ and ‘Story Inored’) were assessed in a young orchard with a multi-row training system. Based on our research, cv. ‘Galiwa’ showed significantly weaker growth, than cv. ‘Story Inored’, which was manifested in lower trunk cross sectional area (TCSA) and lower tree height. Cultivar ‘Story Inored’ reached the optimal tree height (3.1 m) at the age of four, but cv. ‘Galiwa’ could not achieve it neither in five-year-old trees (2.7 m). Cultivar ‘Galiwa’ showed 28.4-32.6 t/ha calculated average yield, while cv. ‘Story Inored’ produced 41.3-102.7 t/ha. Larger fruit size was found in cv. ‘Galiwa’ (72.7-79.1 mm) and smaller in cv. ‘Story Inored’ (66.9-69.2 mm). The fruit surface color was under 50% for cv. ‘Galiwa’ (43-49%), meanwhile cv. ‘Story Inored’ reached higher coloration (87-93%) and an excellent color intensity (4.8-5.0). Shape of cv. ‘Galiwa’ fruits was rather flat, than globular (0.83-0.84 shape index), as cv. ‘Story Inored’ was more elongated (0.95-1.00 shape index).

Growing characteristics of apple cultivars in environmentally friendly growing systems

Nowadays the condition of the good saleability of the fruit is the application of controlled environmentally friendly technologies. Success of the growing is basically influenced by the production value of the cultivars, and their flexibility to the different technologies. In our examinations the effect of the integrated and organic farming  system has been evaluated on the growing characteristics of the apple cultivars. According to our results the trunk thickness of the trees both in the initial and both in the later bearing period is higher in the integratedproduction compared to the organic farming system. This differences most likely caused by the variance of the crop load.

Spatial evaluation of the apple trees-soil environment

Remote sensing of fruit tree micro environment plays a major role in both horticultural and soil mapping applications. In frame this study presented a novel method to survey the spatial distribution of physical and water management properties of soils. The examinations were carried out at an intensive experimental apple orchard in Debrecen-Pallag. The examination site is the part of the Experimental Pomology plantation of the University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agronomy. Particle-size distribution, plasticity according to Arany, metal content by XRF spectrometry, soil physical parameters, acidity, electric conductivity of soils, were measured to obtain appropriate information on the physical properties of the soil. Based on the results, the accurate spatial positions of those sites were characterized where soil loosening should be implemented in 0,3–0,4 m depth. Spatially precise soil physical barriers were determined for applied micro-irrigation system. Based on the micro-element content and pH, the accurate spatial positions of those sites were selected where melioration and micronutrient fertilization is needed. These detailed data sources also applied to calibrate the applied airborne hyperspectral images to extend spatially these point based information.

Flower visiting activity of honeybees on fruit species blooming subsequently

In the small demonstration orchard of the College Faculty of Horticulture at Kecskemét the blooming time, the flower density and the honeybee activity was observed at a number of cultivars of 20 flower species during four consecutive years.

Fruit crop species were in flower during 3-4 months altogether. The blooming period of them was classified into five groups as early (almond, apricot, gooseberry), middle early (sweet cherry, red currant, currant-gooseberry, black currant, white currant, peach, plum, sour cherry), middle late (pear, strawberry, apple), late (black elder, quince, medlar, raspberry, blackberry-raspberry) and very late blooming period (blackberry). The blooming period of the members of the groups of early and medium early blooming often coincided partly and the same happened between the medium and the medium late as well as between fruits of late and very late flowering.

The flower density of some fruit species is extremely variable (currant-gooseberry, medlar), while at others it is fairly stable and evenly dense in consecutive years (sour cherry, sweet cherry, strawberry). At other fruit species it is moderately changeable. Some fruit species tended to attract more honeybees than others (plum, apple, quince, medlar) and some of them tended to attract much less (black elder, pear) but most species can be regarded as of medium attractivity.

On the flowers of some fruit species (pear, strawberry, quince) honeybees gathered pollen predominantly. At most fruit species however pollen and nectar gathering behaviour seemed to be gradually changing during the season. Namely most honeybees tended to gather pollen at the flowers of the early blooming fruit species, but on the other hand typical foraging behaviour gradually shifted to nectar gathering at the flowers of fruit species of moderate and late blooming periods.


Effect of the environmentally friendly production systems on the vegetative characteristics of apple cultivars

In this study effect of the environmentally friendly production systems on the brunch cross sectional area of apple trees trained to free spindle canopy are presented based on the data of 39 cultivars. According to our results branch thickness of the apple cultivars located in the lower, middle and upper region of the tree are more homogenous in the integrated production system compared to the organic one. Therefore the severity of the annual maintain pruning must be necessarily more moderate in the integrated growing system, than in the organic production system.

Some structural characteristics of the flowers of apple cultivars with different susceptibilty to fire blight

Several morphological characters of the hypanthium (size and form of the surface, the shape of the hypanthium) and anatomical traits (number and pattern of stomata) of apple cultivars (Malus domestica L.) with different susceptibility to fire blight were studied. The size of hypantium surface was calculated by modelling the hypanthium with a truncated cone. Three types of hypanthium surface form have been revealed: straight, convex and a complex "shouldered" one. The angle between the style and the wall of the hypanthium was narrow or wide. The stomata on the hypanthium surface can be arranged in a zone in the middle third of the hypanthium or dispersed more or less evenly. The number of stomata/flower substantially differed among the cultivars examined. The highest stomata number was detected in the flowers of the tolerant cultivar (Freedom)

No single characteristics of the hypanthium could convincingly be correlated with susceptibility to fire blight. We suggest, however, that combination of morphological properties that sustain moist environment in the hypanthium contribute to susceptibility.

Testing the virulence of some Hungarian Erwinia amylovora strains on in vitro cultured apple rootstocks

A useful method was improved to test and to evaluate the susceptibility of plants to fire blight and the virulence of E. amylovora strains. Six Hungarian strains from different host plants were tested on in vitro cultured apple rootstocks. Disease rating was used for the characterization of the process of disease development. The different strains had different capacity to cause disease, mainly in the first period of incubation. There were significant differences between the virulence of the strains.

Experimental approach in apple tree nutrition

Authors present synthesis of experimental work, performed in the last decades, for better understanding nutritional behaviour of apple trees and related problems in fruit quality. There were evidences supporting possible deteriorating role of potassium in feeble physiological status of apples, if applied in excess. More intensive studies proved that higher potassium uptake into leaves and fruits might be also the result of increased sink power of individual fruits. Nevertheless early senescence of apples during storage and also sensibility to bitter pit were successfully related to the increased sink power of fruits, casual relations in excessive NPK fertilization, although increase in sink power need further investigations. Impaired weather conditions during early development of fruits, hostile orchard practices in pruning, thinning, irrigation and also unskilled application of growth regulators may also contribute in the enhancement of sink power and in weakened physiological status of apple fruits.

Evaluation of generative accomplishment of new apple cultivars in Hungary

In a two year study, 14 new apple cultivars (cvs ’Gala Venus Fengal’, ’Gala Decarli-Fendeca’, ’Galaval’, ’Jugala’, ’Gala Schnitzer (S) Schniga’, ’Red Cap Valtod (S)’, ’Early Red One’, ’Jeromine’, ’Crimson Crisp (Co-op 39)’, ’Red Topaz’, ’Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’, ’Red Idared’, ’Fuji September Wonder’ and club cultivar) were studied in Eastern Hungary at Nyírbátor. The following parameters were measured: trunk cross sectional area (cm2), harvest time with yield (date, kg/tree, number/tree), fruit size (mm), fruit surface color (%), and color intensity of the fruit surface (1-5). According to our two year assessments regarding, the best generative accomplishment was achieved for the cvs ‘Gala’ sorts trained to slender spindle and the cv ‘Red Jonaprince’ trained to super spindle. According to the trunk cross sectional area the ‘Gala’ sport trained to slender spindle showed the strongest growth among the 4 years old trees, while the cv ‘Fuji SW’ and the cv ‘Jeromine’ presented lower vegetative accomplishment. The ripening time of the cultivars started at the end of August and finished at the beginning of October. ‘Gala’ mutants trained to slender spindle provided the highest yields. Fruit size of all cultivars reached the market required standard, however, cvs ‘Red Jonaprince’ and ‘Red Idared’ produced large fruits over 90 mm. The fruit size of the ‘Gala’ sort was 72–75 mm. Most of the cultivars showed high fruit surface color and color intensity.

Mechanical and physical control in apple orchards as preventative fungal disease management

In this minreview, mechanical and physical control against apple fungal diseases among non-chemical control approaches were summarized. This overview listed five groups of mechanical and physical control methods:  pruning, removal of inoculum sources, shredding of leaf litter, burying of inoculum sources and flaming of leaf litter. These methods were shown to reduce succesfully infection potential of inoculum sources in orchards and these non-chemical control measures are one of the most essential approaches for preventative fungal disease management. However, most of these methods are not widely spread in the apple-growing practice due to relatively low control efficacy, medium to high labour costs and/or time limits during the season.

Monitoring of water regime in an apple orchard

Our investigation was carried out at an micro-irrigated intensive apple orchard in Debrecen-Pallag in 2010. The aims of the study were to monitor the effect of a compacted layer on soil water regime by tensiometers and supporting the water management of the orchard. The results suggest that the physical characteristic of the examined soil is sandy soil with low capillarity and total available water content. The soil water tensions were varied between pF 0 and 2.5 due to the extreme precipitation circumstances in 2010. Tensiometers in 40 cm depth resulted fast (few hours) and significant respond to precipitation than in the 70 cm soil layer. Based on daily measurements, the soils possess a daily fluctuation of soil moisture, however the changes become more moderate in deeper layers. In accordance with all of the results, the amount of drainable water regime was about 20.6 V/V% at 40 cm depth and 18.6 V/V% at 70 cm mainly. The harmful surplus water can be infiltrated by loosening of the compacted soil layer in 50–70 cm depth or led off by vertical drainage.

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