The necessity and possibilities of irrigation in fruit growing under conditions of Hungary

Climatic and soil conditions are highly suitable for most temperate fruit species and promise profitable yields with good quality. An accurate choice of the growing site is, however, decisive because of the wide range agro-climatic variation an soils within the country. One of the most important factors is the annual precipitation which does not exceed, in general, 700 mm. The aims of irrigation practices are, succinctly speaking, the improvement of quantity and security of yields and the guarantee of quality. The relative importance of those criteria changes according to the fruit species. In up to date apple, pear and cherry production, micro-irrigation systems are mainly considered. According to recent experiences, the micro-jet type of water distribution should be preferred to the dripping system. In cherries, the choice of the method is motivated by the need to prevent fruit cracking. Most of the peach and apricot plantations are located on the dry and moderately dry regions of the country. Because of the late freezes, the improvement of security is crucial. There the investment of irrigation systems should concentrate to the possibility of anti-freeze sprays. High water requirements of plums are met in Hungary by irrigation where the method should be decided at the plantation and adapted to the harvesting procedure which could be mechanised or (in high density plantations) picked by hand. Sour cherries are perhaps the less dependent on watering under Hungarian conditions. Yields in small fruits: currents, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries could be increased by irrigation to 40-50 % and may improve quality too. In those cultures the system of moving flexible wing tubes are considered to be the best irrigation technique.

In vitro investigation of King Oyster Mushroom [Pleurotus eryngii (DC.: Fr.) Quel.] strains in vegetative growing phases

The king oyster mushroom ( Pleurotus eryngii) is more and more popular amongst the producers due to its excellent taste and relatively easy cultivation . In the course of our work we collected 15 king oyster mushroom strains from various habitats in Hungary in order to get a better picture about the growth of the vegetative mycelia of the species and its different strains. In the in vitro experiments we investigated the growth of the strains at various temperatures and pH. incubated them in light and darkness and in aerobic and anaerobic atmosphere. In addition to these we measured the weight of dry mycelia produced in a given time by the strains. Our results showed that the above mentioned environmental conditions resulted in a very different growth rate of the vegetative mycelia of the various P. eryngii strains. These results may provide valuable data about the vegetative phase of the cultivation.

Floral biology and fertility of apricot

Floral biology and fertility of apricot

Agroclimatological properties of growing sites assigned to apple and pear production in Hungary

Apple and pear growing sites in Hungary are classified into four regions according to the Hydro-thermic Coefficient: dry, moderately dry. moderately humid and humid. Most of the plantations of apple and pear are located in regions considered as moderately dry and moderately humid. Within that category, the two respective species have different preferences, i.e. the ecological features of Hungary give different opportunities for apple and pear growing. Apple is grown almost everywhere in the country, successfully. The selection of cultivar-regions is needed mainly for increasing competitiveness on the market. Main apple growing regions are listed in 3 large groups. For the definition of cultivar-regions, mainly the configurations of soil and precipitation, i.e. conditions of the soil and opportunities of gaining water were decisive. Market factors are also considered. The area assigned to pear is much less than that of apple, in Hungary. Some well known and popular varieties would require high air humidity which cannot be presented in most of Hungary. Therefore, the possibility to establish regions for pear varieties is restricted, we have to create a particular micro-environment. Two groups are potential. The first one comprises sites where the annual precipitation is 700 mm, at least. There, apple and pear production would compete each other. In more dry habitats (less than 700 mm annual precipitation), micro-environments should be found and only drought-resistant, mainly summer-ripe cultivars should be chosen with, preferably, low tendency of sclereid formation. In that case, neither irrigation could help to produce adequate quality in varieties sensitive to low air humidity.


The utilisation of nutrient elements in soilless cultures of vegetable production

Vegetable production in greenhouses may impair the ecological balance of the environment substantially as far as being uncontrolled. Soilless cultures especially should be handled thoughtfully. A fraction of the nutrients administered, more than 25-30%, is doomed to be lost in an open system, and the resulting ecological risk is accompanied with increasing costs of the production. Experiments have been conducted with the purpose of estimate the amount of nutrients involved. According to the results, as a mean, 30-80 per cent of the main nutrients was utilised. The rate of nutrient utilisation is influenced by the plant species involved as well as by the circumstances of production. One of its most important components is the irrigation, which determines the amount of overflow and of its salt content.

Chemical analysis of the pollen of plum varieties

The chemical composition, amino acids and carbohydrates, of the pollen has been analysed in varieties grown in Hungary during the years 1993 at Kecskemet and 1995 at Cegléd and Pomáz. The distinction of 17 amino acids and 7 carbohydrates has been achieved. The aim of the study was to find criteria for the distinction of varieties.

The total content of amino acids varied between 15.53 and 20.54 %. The highest ratios represented the asparagine and the glutamine acids. The relative content in other amino acids was between 2 and 7 % of the total. The less frequent were cysteine and valine.


Effect of the placement of self-incompatible apricot varieties on their yield in commercial plantations

Earlier studies concerning self-, free- and cross- fertilization of apricot varieties grown in Hungary, proved the existence of self-sterile as well as self-fertile varieties within the recommended assortment. The self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties should be planted in association with polliniser varieties, only. The present paper reports about the yields of trees of the widely grown, self-sterile local variety, Ceglédi óriás (Giant of Cegléd), depending on the distance of adequate polliniser trees. In the univarietal, 27 row-wide block of the relevant variety, an efficient polliniser, Magyar kajszi was planted to the 10th and 19th row. In the close vicinity, another block of polliniser, Rózsakajszi C. 320 was located. The number of fruits set per tree has been counted or estimated in two consecutive years. In both seasons, the yield of the Ceglédi óriás trees diminished with the growing distance from the nearest polliniser trees. Those trees in the center of the block, between the two (10th and 19th) rows of Magyar kajszi bore acceptable yield (40 kg/tree in 1987), however, considerable reduction of the number of the fruits set was stated already in the 4-5th row from the polliniser away. Similar gradient of fruit set was apparent in relation to the neighbouring block of Rózsakajszi C 320. The beneficial effect of the vicinity of polliniser varieties was obvious as far as the distance of the 10th row. Taking into consideration the self-sterility, the early blooming time and the poor fertilization of the variety Ceglédi óriás, a planting design of associating it with at least two polliniser varieties (e.g. Gönci magyar kajszi and Ceglédi bíbor) is highly recommended. On the basis also of earlier results, a proposal has been developed for the association of apricot varieties as recommendations for optimising yields. Blooming time, fertilizing potential, schedule of the picking season and market possibilities have to be considered simultaneously.

Association of European plum varieties in the orchards

The flowering phenology, blooming time and inter-fertility relations of 63 European plum varieties has been studied at growing sites with different ecological conditions during a 10 year long period. The purpose was to develop a system of variety combinations which approaches an optimum in fertility as long as inter-fertility relations will cease to be a limiting factor of yield. According to their blooming time, varieties are assigned to 5 groups: very early, early, medium, late and very late. As for their fertility relations, four groups are formed: self-sterile (0%), partially self-fertile (0.1 to 10 %), self-fertile (10.1 to 20 %) and highly self-fertile (more than 20 % fruit set with self pollination). The four categories of fruit set at free pollination are also relevant to the grower: low (less than 10 %), medium (10 to 20 %), high (20 to 40 %) and very high (more than 40 % fruit set).

By artificial cross pollination, one combination Cacanska najbolja x Stanley proved to be mutually inter-incompatible. Blocks planted to a single self-sterile variety flanking a pollinizer variety proved the spacial distribution of the pollen. The reduction in fruit set was already apparent in the second row away from the pollinizer trees. In a large plantation, without bee hives, relatively low yield was stated on self-sterile trees even close to the pollinizer.

In the case of self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties, a combination of three varieties is recommended. The blooming period of the pollinizer variety should overlap the period of the self-sterile variety at least by 70 %, and the distance should not exceed 15 to 20 meters. Association of self-fertile varieties may also enhance the productivity of the trees. In that case an overlap of 50 % in blooming time and a maximum distance between the varieties of 30 to 40 meters will be sufficient.


Inter-incompatibility of self- incompatible apricots and their varietal properties

There are four apricot varieties grown in Hungary derived from local selections known to bear fruits of giant (60 - 100 g) size: Ceglédi óriás, Nagykőrösi óriás, Szegedi mammut and Ligeti óriás. Being morphologically similar, they seem to be closely related to each other. The detailed study of the morphology (of leaves and fruits) and phenology (of blooming and ripening dates) as well as the fertility relations was aimed to find out the degree of kinship between the varieties in question.

It was stated that the value of morphological traits is variable from the taxonomic point of view. The most important signs of common origin were the time of blooming and the leaf size. Less valuable are the date of m:iurity and the size of fruit because of their variability. In the literature Satin') & Nyeki (1991) published the first proof of inter-incompatible relation between apricot varieties. This should be considered as an argument of close genetic relation between those "giant" varieties of apricots.

The first three varieties. Ceglédi óriás, Nagykőrösi óriás and Szegedi mammut are closer related in blooming and ripening date, as well as in size of fruit to each other than the variety Ligeti óriás.


Micropropagation of Rudbeckia hirta L. from seedling explants

We conducted experiments for developing an in vitro micropropagation protocol starting from meristems of Rudbeckia hirta L seedlings. We pre-soaked the seeds in sterile ion-exchanged water for 17 hours, and then achieved surface disinfection in two separate steps. First, we used concentrated household sodium-hypochloride solution for 20 minutes and, also for 20 minutes, we applied hydrogen peroxide of 10%, which was followed by washing with sterile ion-exchanged water three times. For the propagation of seedling meristems, the combination of half-strenght solid Murashige and Skoog (1962) culture medium containing 10 mg/1 of kinetin or 2 mg/I of kinetin + 0.1 mg/1 of 2iP proved to be the most suitable. The average number of shoot-buds developed from the seedling axillary meristem in the best culture media varied between 5 and 17. Without separating them, we inoculated the shoot-bud clusters on MS culture medium containing 2 mg/1 of IAA. After four weeks of incubation we obtained elongated shoots which we separated and inoculated into a new culture medium and we obtained elongated roots. The rooted plants were gradually acclimatised in the cultivation room, potted and carried to a greenhouse, and then planted in open field for subsequent observation. By adopting this method, our laboratory started the micropropagation of the superior and/or elite genotypes of the Rudbeckia hirta L. being of special value in respect of breeding.

Self pollination in peach

The peach is though considered to be a self fertile fruit species, also some self sterile and male sterile varieties have been registered. The latter type seems to be frequently met in Asian varieties, whereas in the USA and Europe, J. H. Hale and Flaminia are grown. The purpose of the present study was the assessment of fertility relations of peaches and nectarines grown in Hungary. The authors studied, since 1974, more than 100 different peach and nectarine varieties as for fertility relations, especially their autogamous or geitonogamous fruit set on isolated, i.e. bagged flowers at bud stage, then set free after blooming finished. Isolated flowers of some varieties were also self pollinated, artificially. According to the results the varieties have been assigned to four alternative groups. Self sterile varieties in the proper sense have not been found, but partial self sterility (less than 10% fruit set), self fertility (10 to 20% fruit set) and high self fertility (more than 20% fruit set on selfed flovters) was generally met. The majority of the varieties belonged to the last two groups, nevertheless. the rate of fruit set displayed seasonal variation, the maximum was in one case 89.9%. The purposeful self (hand)pollination of the isolated flowers increased fruit set, substantially. Varieties rated as partially self-sterile are J. H. Hale and Fuzador (the former being partially male sterile too). Although in some years and some varieties, fruit set legged below 10% but according to the means the majority of nectarines are assigned to the self fertile category whereas most peach varieties, either for fresh consumption or industrial types, were highly self fertile.


The effect of the method and the timing of the propagation on the growth, earliness and productivity of sweet corn

Direct sowing in 16 cm deep trench covered with perforated plastic sheet (for 3 weeks), transplant using, and uncovered direct sowing (control) was tried on 2 locations, with 2 varieties (very early Kecskeméti korai extra, and middle early Kecskeméti SC-370) in Szarvas on loamy soil, and in Kecskemét on sandy soil in 1996 — after a preliminary trial concerning perforated plastic covered trench sowing in Szarvas, in 1995.

The plant height (weekly), the average leaf number/plant, the total leaf area (once), the total yield, the quality of cobs, and the earliness was measured. The results are:

  1. Kecskeméti korai extra during the first 6 week period the transplanted plants were the highest, but from the 7th week the plants which were sown in trench and than were covered with perforated plastic sheet (for 3 weeks) were the highest.
  2. SC-370: The transplanted plants were the highest-until the end of plant height development.

The plant height development stopped at the 9th week of the measurement by early, - and stopped at the 10th week by middle early variety. The average leaf number/plant varied between 9,25-10,50 and was not influenced either by variety or by the treatment. The total leaf area was (on 5th of June) the largest by transplanted plants, which was followed by plants that were sown in trench and then were covered with perforated plastic film (for 3 weeks).

  1. The highest yield was observed by plants, which Were sown in trench, and then were covered with perforated plastic film (for 3 weeks). Transplanted plants followed it.
  2. Quite the total yield (98,3%) of transplanted Kecskeméti korai extra variety plants were harvested on 4th July. 89% of the total yield was picked up of trench sown and then with perforated plastic covered plants. The harvest of uncovered control started on 15th July. The harvest of transplanted SC-370 plants started 19th July, when more than half of the total yield (57%) was picked. The uncovered control was harvested 29th July.
  3. The weight and the measure of cobs generally were not influenced by the treatments, but the average weight of the cobs of the transplanted Kecskeméti korai extra plants (0,21-0,18 kg) are less than the, requirement.


Time of flowering and fertilisation of quince varieties

Literature dealing with flowering and fertilisation of quince is scarce. Most controversial and scanty are informations on observations of self- and cross-pollination. According to our observations, differences in blooming time are few (2-3) days only, thus flowering of most varieties is synchronous. The varieties observed are grouped as early, intermediate and late flowering ones. Self fertility of the individual varieties, however, was not assessed unequivocally, therefore it is recommended, by safety reasons, to consider quince actually as a whole to be auto-incompatible. Artificial self-pollination (or rather geitonogamy) as well as cross pollination with other varieties increased substantially fruit set if compared with the results of natural self-pollination (autogamy). According to the fruit set of their open pollinated flowers, varieties have been classified according to fertility as low (below 10 %), medium (between 10 and 20 %) and high (more than 20 %). Cross fertility of varieties is highly variable depending on combination and on season. Contradictory data are probably due to the sensitivity of quince to conditions of search. Better fruit set was coincident with higher number of stout seeds per fruit. Well developed seeds are definitely a prerequisite of larger fruit size.


Relation between the germination and infection ratio on Sida hermaphrodita L. Rusby seeds under hot water treatment

Sida hermephrodita or virginia mallow is a perspective perennial herb in the Malvaceae family able to yield a biomass crop through between ten and twenty years. Additionally, the plants have a lot of uses and benefits for instance it can use it as a fodder crop, honey crop, ornamental plant in public gardens. It has favorable features like fast growing and resistance against the disease and climatic fluctuations, etc. Sida is in base stage of domestication therefore has a serious disadvantage the low and slow germination as a big part of wild plants. Due to the expressly low germination percent the need of seed showing of driller is should tenfold, 200 thousand seed/acre instead of 10-20 thousand what is not available and expensive Therefore practical purposes of our research of seed physiology was to increase the seed germination percent in a disposable ,basically wild Sida population. We examined two factors relating to seed germination percent and seed germination power during our research: the influence of hot water treatment and the effect of exogenus or endogenus infection of seed. However, in our germination tests, utilizing scarified seeds with hot water (65, 80 and 95 oC), 29,33 to 46% germinated of the seeds collected from the population of S. hermaphrodita in Debrecen. The average germination for all season was 5-10 % wihitout treatment and rised using hot water up to almost 50%. When physically scarified used, the oldest seeds showed the best germination (46 %) after the hot water operation in spite of the previus studys (Spooner 1985; Chudik et al. 2010; Doliński R. 2009.). We discovered that there are a distinguished close relationship between the seeds collecting time and the infection, as well as germination percentage. Thus, 2009 season was the most favourable in case of contamination (control:17,33 and 80 oC treatment:0%) as well as germination percent. It could be concluded that, the best season for our findings was 2009 due to autumn harvest of Sida seeds. In our oppinion, the autumn harvesting should be the best time to overcome the problem of the low germination and high infection percentage.

Colour components of different table beet varieties

Information of the total pigment content of table beet roots is not sufficient enough to estimate their suitability to processing. Differences in the occurrence of the red pigment components of different thermostability determine the mode of processing of the varieties. Pigment extraction methods which require heat treatment (e.g. table beet root powder) need raw materials of higher betanin content.

Of the tested varieties — Bonel, Nero, Favorit, Rubin and Detroit — Bonel and Favorit had the highest betanin content (50.03 and 49.53 mg/100g, respectively).

The isobetanin quantity varies according to varieties (13.10-26.62 mg/100g). Values between 2.92-6.63 mg/100g and 0.96-2.96 mg/100g. respectively were found for betanidin and isobetanidin.

Data revealed the highest BC/BX ratio in the variety Rubin (2.08) indicating good inner colour in sensory tests. However, the high total pigment content (81.01 mg/I00g) was associated with lower betanin content (46,26 mg/100g) and at the same time, with higher isobetanin (25.16 mg/100g), betanidin (6.63 mg/100g) and isobetanidin (2.96 nig/100g) contents. Out of the tested varieties Nero had the lowest total red pigment content (57.43 mg/100g) but the relative betanin value was the highest with nearly 70 %.

Laboratory testing of the table beet root varieties will be required to find the most suitable material to produce colouring agents.


Results in table beet breeding (Review)

Results in table beet breeding (Review)

The main colouring substance and essential oil components of different carrot varieties

Investigating colouring components it was found that the p carotene being the most important from the point of view of nutrition constitutes about 60-70% of the total colouring material, whereas the ratio of a carotene is 18-34%.

Among the varieties having a short growing season the common incidence rate of the a and 13 carotene is very high (92.49 %), even a lower total colouring material content (178.02 ppm) results in bright orange red carrot roots.

The incidence of a and carotene represents, however, only 84.24% of the similar total colouring material value (171.74 ppm) measured in Nantais.

Among the storage varieties Fertődi vörös has the highest value of total colouring substance (213.04 ppm) from which the common proportion of the two carotene (a and (3) compounds amounts to 93.77%.

When testing the essential oil components the cariophyllen shows the highest incidence rate, which has a negative influence on the flavour materials of the carrot. Among the early varieties in Nantais Forto this quantity amounts to 24.08 ppm which is almost twice as much as the amount measured in Nantais. We found a similarly unfavourable quantity in %lords &ids (25.47 ppm).

Looking at the beta-pinen and 1-limonen of a bactericidal effect the quantity of l-limonen is higher (1.36 ppm on the average of the varieties). Among the varieties that have a longer growing season and which are suitable for processing Fertődi vörös is the best in terms of essential oil and colour content. Its beta-pinen content was above the average of this variety (1.12 ppm) while its 1-limonen content was considerably high (1.26 ppm).


Utilisation of subsurface waters for soilless vegetable forcing in the Southern Great Plain region of Hungary

For soilless vegetable production of the Southern Great Plain region in Hungary, there is enough water available, however, the origin and chemical composition of it are decisive from the point of view of practicability. The ground water is everywhere accessible, although its sodium and chloride content is almost always significant, moreover, human pollution may occur (e.g. nitrates and phosphates). A further unfavourable moment is the seasonal variation observed within the area of the same community. The abundant supply of water in the Quaternary strata are located in more than half of the cases within the upper 50 m region. As by the expected changes of the climate, a strategic increment of the importance of subsurface waters is anticipated. Their composition is relatively stable, and the prognoses are reliable for the same settlement. Salt content of the majority of water resources bearing hydrocarbonates is low, however, streaming of the subsurface waters tend to increase their sodium content and to diminish their calcium and magnesium, whereas the pH increases (mainly by ion-exchange). Water quality is decisive not only because of the interaction with the plants but also from the point of view of the distribution of water. Some micro-elements, mainly iron and secondarily manganese may cause problems, therefore, irrigation water ought to be prepared carefully. Production technology should be completed by a technical equipment using aeration for the elimination of ironinfluence of yields on rate of return of investment; (3) the role of increasing of added value content of products. Importance of the utilisation of alternative channels of distribution and the formation of producers' cooperatives are underlined, being based on calculation of return of investment.

Utilisation of nutrients by cucumber plants oil rockwool substrate

Cucumber production by soil less culture on rockwool substrate in Hungary is an open system regarding its water and nutrient supply. Environmental and economical reasons require the recycling of nutrients of the system. Experiments have been planned in order to estimate the utilisation of individual nutrient elements applied. All around the vegetation period, chemical analyses monitored the depletion of the elements initially administered by sampling the solutions at successive phases from the injection to the overflow. The results have been compared with earlier experiences refering to general rules. It has been stated that the intensity of photosynthesis is decisive in determining the composition of the overflow. The less changes are observed during the period of frequent watering.

The absorption of the nutrient elements varied between 25-51% deperiding on the individual elements. The differences are significant. Further examinations are needed in order to clear:

  • which are the main elements of technology, which are decisive in utilisation of nutrients
  • what are the possibilities of the secondary utilisation of nutrients.
Blooming time of some apricot varieties of different origin in Hungary

There are a number of self-incompatible and partially self-compatible apricot varieties which need cross pollination for suitable yield. We have to know their blooming time to select the appropriate pollen donor cultivars. The blooming period of 20 apricot varieties was observed in four subsequent years. Blooming time was affected by temperature conditions very much. Varieties studied were assigned to three groups according to their blooming time. The rate of overlapping of important variety combinations was observed. Sufficient overlapping of blooming period for safe pollination is usually ensured within the same group of varieties or between varieties of the neighbouring blooming time groups.