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Effect of Erwinia amylovora infection on peroxidase enzyme activity in resistant apple cultivars
Published August 13, 2004

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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Historical apple cultivars that display high level of resistance to fire blight
Published August 13, 2004

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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First selections of the Hungarian apple breeding program for multiple resistance
Published August 13, 2004

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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Carbohydrate utilization of Erwinia amylovora in vitro
Published May 10, 2004

Nectar is a multi-component aqueous solution that promotes bacterial multiplication. The concentration of nectar in plant flowers is not stable since it is under the influence of environmental conditions, especially free moisture and relative humidity. Experiments were conducted with "artificial nectar" and directed along two lines: (1) determi...nation of the optimal concentrations of carbohydrates for the growth of E. amylovora development (2) consumption of different carbohydrates besides basic sugars.

Solutions of "artificial nectar" were prepared in different compositions by changing the dominance of basic sugars (fructose — glucose —sucrose) in proportions of 2:1:1, 1:2:1, 1:1:2 and between concentrations of 10-0.6% (diluted with Basal minimum broth) in order to determine optimal conditions for the development of E. amylovora.

At a basic sugar concentration of 10% bacterial multiplication started and continued until I log degree (from 106 to 107 cfu/ml). At concentrations of 5% and 2,5 % cells developed with nearly the same kinetics (from 106 to 8x107 cfu/ml and from 106 to 9x107 cfu/ml, respectively). Multiplication was more pronounced and nearly the same at concentrations of 1.2 % and 0.6 % (from106 to 2x108 cfu/ml). At a basic sugar concentration 30% total sugars bacterial multiplication did not occur, while at 20 % it was negligible, not measurable photometrically.

At minimal concentrations of F, G, S (between 1-0.1 %) bacterial cells were still able to multiply, producing organic acids from sugars.

Our study showed that E. amylovora requires only a small amount of sugars (0.1%) for multiplication (acid production) while high concentrations inhibit multiplication. There was a negative correlation between sugar content and cell density. The optimal range of sugar concentration was at about 1%.

Effect of "less frequent carbohydrates" to E. amylovora multiplication was also determined using the API 50 CH strip. We could provide information on utilization of 39 carbohydrates by the bacterium at different categories as follows: Not utilized-, Slowly and weakly utilized-, Slowly and completely utilized-, Quickly and completely utilized carbohydrates. We suppose that carbohydrates that belong to the latter two groups could play an important role as nectar components in promoting E. amylovora multiplication in the blossoms of pome fruit trees.

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Reactions of different plant organs of pear cultivars to Erwinia amylovora infection
Published April 14, 2003

Research project has been initiated in 1999 with the aim of evaluating the degree of susceptibility/resistance of pear cultivars grown in Hungary to fire blight disease caused by Erwinia amylovora. The recently selected promising cultivars were also examined. Inoculation experiments were conducted in controlled greenhouse conditions be...cause of quarantine regulations in Hungary. Following the disease process, development of symptoms of plant organs (shoots, flower parts, fruits) was observed. Suspension of two E. amylovora strains (Ea 21, Ea 23) isolated from pear was used in a mixture (5x108 cells x m1-1) for the inoculation. Twenty-six pear cultivars were examined and grouped into four categories: low susceptibility, moderately susceptible, susceptible and very susceptible. Most of the cultivars were susceptible or very susceptible while some promising 'Eldorado', 'Harrow Delight' and `Hosui' showed low susceptibility.

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