Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) visitation at the flowers of quince cultivars (Cydonia oblonga Mill.)

Studies were made on the bee visitation of 6 quince cultivars and on the foraging behaviour of honeybees at quince flowers for 3 consecutive years. The bee visitation was highly intense because both the plantation and its surrounding was overpopulated by honeybee colonies. Some 5.5 bee visits were counted in average at 50 opening quince flowers in 10 minutes and some 9.7 flowers were visited of the 50 ones observed meanwhile. This equals some 7 bee visits per flower per day per in good weather. Bee visitation, however, was variable and it was greatly different in the three consecutive years with fairly favourable weather. Some cultivars tended to be more and others less visited by honeybees than the others but these differences were not consequent at each occasion. No consequent relationship between the weather and the bee visitation of quince trees could be recognised. It was concluded that .other factors were responsible for the variable nature of the bee activity at quince. Most honeybees tended to collect pollen (51.6% in average for the 3 years) and usually much less gathered for nectar only (19.9%), and the rest of them were mixed behaviour foragers gathering for both (28.5%). There were some slight differences in the foraging behaviour of honeybees at some cultivars but these differences were not always consequent in consecutive years. Also the nectar production of flowers failed to affect the bee visitation and the foraging behaviour of honeybees definitely. For the variable nature of bee visitation and bee behaviour at quince flowers, supplementary pollination is needed to achieve as high set of fruits as high is required to a good crop at quince (at least 20-25% because the flower density is low of this fruit tree species). Since the intensity of bee visitation at the flowers is the only reliable estimate of the necessity of supplementary bee pollination further research is needed to explore the relationship between the number of honeybee visits and the consequent fruit set at quince.


Effect of boron fertilisation on the flavour of carrots - Applicability of organoleptic analyses to carrots

Foliar boron fertilisation has had positive influence only on carotene content. Results were evaluated with chemical analyses and sensory tests. It has been observed that sensory tests are able to detect bitter flavour and also to measure its interaction with sweet flavour. Sensory tests for evaluation are generally used in the EU, also in the case of fruits and vegetables. With the aid of students and staff having received training and acquired practice, our University has the possibility to complete chemical analyses in such a way that satisfies modern demands, as well as facilitating the sale of the products on foreign markets.

The quality and storage efficiency of some apple varieties as a function of picking date, area of production and duration of storage

Numerous apple varieties have been tested parallel with traditional Jonathan varieties during four years, 1990-1994 on three different geographical areas of Hungary. The picking time took place at three different times in a year: ten days before the probably optimal picking time, at close-to-optimal picking time, and ten days after the optimal picking time. The effect of storage on quality of fruits have been tested in February, March, and April under circumstances of a semi-industrial storage experiment.

The results of experience can contribute to answer numerous current, from point of view of practice important topics:

  • The stochastic relations between various fruit quality parameters at different varieties
  • The change of fruit — quality during storage
  • The effect of different picking date on storage losses
  • The possibilities of storage — loss predicting by the utilization of multiple regression analysis.

The most important results of experiences are as follows :

  1. The starch — degradation test and Streiff — index are well applicable for practical purposes to determine the optimal harvest-date.
  2. On base of analysis of various losses and physiological diseases the high importance of mass loss is obvious. In the variety Jonnee the earlier picking date considerably increased the mass loss. The effect of variety on mass loss is rather limited. In the Jonathan varieties the Jonathan spot was a rather important physiological disease. The late picking time increased the frequency of Jonathan - spot. At optimal date of harvest at Jonnee the frequency of Jonathan -spot was lower, than at Jonathan M 41. In the Jonathan M41 and Jonnee the importance of scald was rather limited, but in the Wellspur Delicious and Smoothee this disease occurred relatively frequently. In the Smoothee the earlier picking time considerably increased the probability of scald.
  3. The multiple regression analysis yielded reliable results, fit for prediction of storage losses and diseases on the base of chemical and physical properties, determined at the time of picking.


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 harvest 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.

Consumer preference for apples: the role of attributes influencing the choice and consumption

Consumers consider good quality fruits to be those that look good, are firm and offer good flavour and nutritive value. Nowadays, consumers are, however, increasingly  interested  in food qualities which  cannot  be discovered  by  looking, tasting or smelling  the products but their roles are not yet really cleared up. Therefore the objective of this study was to explore the importance of selected kinds of attributes (taste, size, colour, cultivar, origin and price) in fluencing the choice of apples of customers. In accordance with several authors, fruit qualities (taste, size and colour) seemed to be the major attributics influencing the choice of apple independently of people's age and gender. However, the size of fruit had lower importance with increased age. Generally, females gave higher importance rating for most attributes than did male. The price was getting more important for consumer's choice with age which can be connected with their socioeconomic situation. The origin of fruit and the cultivar did not have important influence on consumer's choice. Authors also investigated the preference of consumers for six selected apple varieties ('Jonagold', 'ldared', 'Royal Gala', 'Golden Reinders', 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith'). and pointed out the role of the origin in fruit quality and in choice of apple in the case of 'Granny Smith' cultivar. Apple fruit samples from Austria, Argentina, Chile, Hungary and South Africa were involved in this study. Authors evaluated fruit quality parameters of above cultivars and compared them to consumer preference. Consumer preference usually represented the quality attributes of the fruit well. It is also concluded that degree of liking of apple cultivars varies through gender and age. Children and young consumers preferred 'Royal Gala', 'Granny Smith  and 'Braeburn' mostly. In spite of 'Idared' is one of the cultivars grown on the largest area in Hungary, the lowest preference ratings were given for it in both gender categories. Middle-aged consumers (between 25 and 50 years or age) preferred crispy apples with red or blemished skin color ('Royal Gala' and 'Jonagold'). 'Jonagold' and 'Idared' were the most preferred cultivars for the consumers above the age of 50 likely because of their relatively low price, as price plays a significant influencing role in the purchase of these consumers. The relatively expensive and soury 'Granny Smith' appeared not really preferred by this age group. In spite of the significant differences in instrumentally measured fruit quality parameters among 'Granny Smith' fruit samples from different countries, consumers did not give significantly different preference rating scores for those.

Possibilities of brown rot management in organic stone fruit production in Hungary

In this study, possibilities of environmentally-friendly plant protection against two brown rot species was summarized for organic stone fruit orchards. Symtomps of the two most important brown rot species (Monilinia fructigena (Aderh. & Ruhl.) Honey and Monilinia laxa (Aderh. & Ruhl.) Honey) were described and then cultivar susceptibility to brown rot was discussed. Several sustainable plant protection methods were selected and discussed in details such as mechanical, agrotehcnical, biological, and other control possibilities (elemental sulphur, lime sulphur and copper).

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 resistance 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.

Detection and identification of phytoplasmas in peach based on woody indexing and molecular methods

Symptoms resembling phytoplasma disease have been observed on peach trees in a seed-source plantation of stone fruits in south Hungary quite recently. In this publication we report on the results of woody indexing of symptomatic peach trees on GF 305 indicator in the field and under greenhouse conditions as well as on molecular studies. Phytoplasma infection detected on GF 305 indicators in greenhouse and field indexing was confirmed by PCR. Nested PCR was conducted using universal primer pairs followed by group and subgroup specific primers for the second amplification. RFLP analysis of nested PCR products was performed using Rsal restriction enzyme. Based on the results of molecular studies it can be concluded that phytoplasmas, belonging to the European stone fruit yellows subgroup (16SrX-B) were identified in peach trees. Further studies on symptomatic peach trees originating from different parts of Hungary are in progress.

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