Almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D. A. Webb.] as one of the oldest domesticated plants is thought to have originated in central Asia. Gametophytic self-incompatibility of almond is controlled by the highly polymorphic S-locus. The S-locus encodes for an S-ribonuclease (S-RNase) protein in the pistils, which degrades RNA in self-pollen tubes and he...nce stops their growing. This study was carried out to detect S-RNase allelic variants in Hungarian and Eastern European almond cultivars and Turkish wild growing seedlings, and characterize their S-allele pool. Five new alleles were identifi ed, S31H, S36-S39 in Eastern European local cultivars. The village Bademli and Akdamar island are two distinct places of almond natural occurrence in Turkey. Trees growing wild around Bademli city showed greater genetic diversity than those originated on Akdamar island. Many of the previously described 45 S-RNase alleles have been also detected in these regions. Homology searches revealed that Turkish almonds carried some P. webbii alleles indicating hybridization between the two cultivars and massive introgression events. Our results supply long-awaited information on almond S-allele diversity from regions between the main cultivation centres and the centre of origin of this species; and are discussed from the aspect of methodological developments and evolution of the cultivated almond.
Some traditional sweet cherry cultivars of Ukrainian origin may represent perspective material for Hungarian cherry breeding. A total of eight cultivars analysed represent great diversity in several phenotypic traits including fruit ripening time or fruit flesh colour. Considerable differences in the anthocyanin content may result in different ...antioxidant capacity of fruits. In the present study, we used ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and total phenolic content (TPC) assays to characterize fruits’ nutraceutical properties. These values were compared with the respective values measured for eight commercial cultivars grown in Hungary. The average of FRAP and TPC values was higher for the Ukrainian cherries compared with commercial cultivars suggesting they might be included in functional breeding programs. Since, cherry is a self-incompatible species, the determination of S-genotype is required for both breeding and successful cultivar association in commercial orchards. Complete or partial S-genotypes were determined for 5 and 3 cultivars, respectively.