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  • Applicability of 3D laser scanning in precision horticulture

    Due to the technological development, remote sensing instruments and methods have become widespread in all segments of life (from precision agriculture through architecture to medicine). Among the innovative development of remote sensing instruments the 3D laser scanner is of outstanding importance. Horticultural applicability of terrestrial laser scanning technique is a new innovation in the precision agriculture. The structure of trees and branches, the canopy extension, the fruit yield, which can help to recognize some biophysical parameters, can be determined. The examination was carried out with Leica ScanStation C10 terrestrial laser scanner in the Study and Regional Research Farm of the University of Debrecen near Pallag. In this article the measuring principle, the parameters and horticulture applicability of the terrestrial laser scanner are presented.

  • The effect of nitrogen supply on specific yield and fruit quality of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.)

    The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of nitrogen supply on yield and fruit quality of apple cultivars and to explore the relationships between canopy density and the different fruit quality parameters.

    The experiments were carried out at Kálmánháza, in Eastern Hungary in a private orchard in 2003-2004. The response of four apple cultivars ('Elstar', 'Gala Prince', 'Granny Smith', 'Idared') to different nitrogen dosages was studied. The assessed and calculated indices were: yield, fruit diameter, fruit height, shape index, fruit mass, firmness, dry matter content and colouration. The results indicated that nitrogen fertilization has a significant effect on the yield and fruit quality of apple cultivars. The calculated specific yield values were reduced by the application of nitrogen via the increase in the volume of the canopy. An opposit trend was observed for fruit diameter, fruit height and fruit weight, which increased with increasing nitrogen supply. The reduced shape index caused flattening of fruits.

    However, the improvement of fruit quality via increasing nitrogen dosage is only virtual, since these dosages increase the fruit size, but firmness, dry matter content and colouration are diminished, which decreases the value of the fruits on the market.

    The authors also studied the relationships between canopy density responsible for assimilation and light supply of the fruits and the different fruit quality parameters. The closest linear inversely proportional relationship was found in the case of colouration. There was a negative linear relationship between canopy density and firmness or dry matter content. The relationship between canopy density and fruit mass could be described by a quadratic polinomial function.

  • Preliminary data on attractiveness of phenylacetaldehyde-based lures on economically important plant bug pests (Hemiptera: Miridae)

    Several plant bug species (Miridae) are important pests of crops and vegetables, thus monitoring them is of essential importance for effective pest control. During the current, preliminary study synthetic plant volatile combinations were tested in field conditions in Hungary in alfalfa fields. Beside semiochemical baited traps, sweep-netting was also performed. In the experiments three plant bug species were found in higher numbers: Adelphocoris lineolatus, Lygus rugulipennis and L. pratensis. As a novel, interesting finding L. pratensis was attracted to phenylacetaldehyde baited traps. For all species, both males and females were trapped in all combinations. Sweep-netting and semiochemical baited traps showed different efficacy in case of the three species, as sweep-netting catches were highly biased for A. lineolatus, which indicates the higher efficacy of this method as compared to the tested semiochemical-baited traps. On the other hand, semiochemical baited showed better performance for L. rugulipennis and L. pratensis. For these species none of the tested combinations performed better than phenylacetaldehyde baited traps. The potential implication of results in view of monitoring are discussed.

  • Pilot study for irrigation modelling of a pear plantation

    Our investigation was carried out in the area of Fruit growing Research and Consultant non-profit company, at Újfehértó. The pear requires large water quantity, but this pear plantation hasn’t irrigation system not yet. This study reviews the drainage conditions of the area based on digital elevation model, and examined the canopy cover of pear trees by evaluating of the hyperspectral image. Our aims were to determine the exact watershed based irrigation modelling and determining of the canopy% of the pear orchard to facilitate a precision irrigation decision support system.

  • Production of transgenic carnation with antisense ACS (1-aminocyclopropane44-carboxy late synthase) gene

    Dianthus chinensis and Dianthus caryophyllus varieties were tested for shoot regeneration from leaf and petal explants and transformed with Agrobacterium tuniefaciens strains (EHA 105 and LBA 4404) harbouring an apple derived ACS cDNA in antisense orientation in order to reduce ethylene production and influence the ethylene dependant traits in carnation. After transformation regenerating shoots were selected on MS medium containing 50-75-100-125-150 mg/1 kanamycin and supplemented with 1 mg/1 BA, 0.2 mg/1 NAA. Transgene integration was proved by PCR analysis with npt II spcific primers followed by Southern hybridisation of DNA isolated from green shoots on medium containing 150 mg/1 kanamycin. Several putative transformants were subjected to RT-PCR in order to examine the npt 11 expression at mRNA level. Both the transformant and the non-transformant plants were potted into glasshouse to observe the effect of changed ethylene production on flowering time, petal senescence and vase life.


  • Determination of chlorophyll content in case of peach leaf curl disease (Taphrina deformans) with spectral analysis

    One of the most important conditions of high quality fruit production is the early detection of hytopathologycal infections. The most dangerous disease of peach (Prunus persica) is the Taphrina deformans, which causes serious damages mainly in the years where the weather condition is cool and wet. In this study, healthy and naturally diseased leaves by peach leaf curl were investigated in the laboratory of University of Debrecen, CAAES, Institute of Water and Environmental Management. Both of hyperspectral measurement and the values of spectrophotometer shown the chlorophyll content of diseased leaves were lower than the healthy samples. Based on the experiments the water status of investigated leaves established the infected leaves contained more water in their tissues.

  • The effect of pre-fruiting temperatures on the yield of Pleurotus strains

    Authors studied the effect of different temperatures prior to fruit body appearance on the yield of 3 Pleurotus strains P70, HK35 and 357. After 17 days of incubation at 25 °C and 28 °C the substrate blocks were kept for 7 days at 13, 16, 19, 22 and 25 °C. Then temperature was reduces to 16 °C during harvest time. Tests showed difference of some degrees in the optimal prefruiting temperature requirements of the strains which could result in even in 10-15% surplus yield. It is advisable to use technologies specially adapted to strains.

  • Importance of boron in fruit nutrition

    Boron (B) is an essential micronutrient in plants especially in fruits. Despite of this fact there are very few information about its application, uptake and symptoms in Hungarian fruit growing sector. Nowadays we should consider the effects of weather conditions on soil B availability increasingly according to the climatic anomalies. Identifying of internal and external symptoms of plant parts (leaf, fruit) is help for growers to recognize the deficiency and excess symptoms in time. Methods and application rates of boron fertilization provide further information for growers to achieve qualify-oriented fruit growing among Hungarian conditions. The aim of this minireview is to focus on the importance of boron in fruit nutrition.

  • Evaluation of foreign apricot cultivars in Hungary

    The extension and renewal of cultivar assortment is one of the key elements in the improvement of apricot production. Competitiveness can only be achieved by planting cultivars which meet all market requirements and yield reliably under the environmental conditions of the given production site. Beside breeding programmes, the range of cultivars can also be extended by the domestication of foreign cultivars. Most apricot cultivars have low ecological tolerance, therefore, cultivars improved or developed in other countries should only be involved in production after due consideration. The suitability of such cultivars has to be examined for several years. Foreign apricot cultivars have been tested in our cultivar collection for over 10 years. Hereby, the most important aspects of market value and the adaptability to the environmental conditions of the production site are demonstrated. According to the results of our examinations the production of early ripening 'Orange Red' and `Goldrich' can be promising in Hungary. From cultivars ripening in the peak season only those are expected to be widely produced which differ from Hungarian cultivars or surplus them in some respects. From the cultivars examined 'Harogem' which ripens at the same time as `Gönci magyar kajszi' has remarkably aesthetic fruits with glossy surface, while the large fruits of `Hargrand' has firm pulp. Late ripening cultivars have significant importance in the northern border of production. According to our examinations the cultivars 'Callatis', `Comandor and `Sirena' are applicable in Hungary to extend the harvesting season.

  • Estimating of water consumption of cherry trees

    Despite of its importance there is no exact information on water use of new scion/rootstock composite trees, which would be needed to optimized irrigation. Our research purpose is to define exact water-demand of different rootstock/scion composite trees, calculating seasonal weather changes and by using the results decrease irrigation costs. The investigations are carried out in Soroksár, at the Experimental Farm of Corvinus University of Budapest in May 2008. From among the investigated trees two are budded onto Prunus mahuleb `Érdi V' seedlings, two on "Korponay' seedlings. The sapflow measurements are carried out using Dynamax Flow 32 equipment with Dynagage trunk sensors. The first daily maximum of sapflow was around 10:00 a.m. (2.5 kghour I), the second maximum was always between 14:00-15:00 p.m. (2 kgday- I). Comparing to the very intensive morning water uptake by 20:00 p.m. the water flow slowly reached the minimal level. Significant differences can be seen on rootstocks: trees on `Korponay' rootstock always showed more intensive sapflow and a higher morning peak than trees on `Árdi V'. But later during the day they have the same run.Based on our results the water quantity transpired only by the trees reached in May 86-104 mm, while the precipitation was only 42.4 mm. This means a 40-60 mm deficit in the orchard, which should have been supplied by irrigation despite of the satisfying horticultural performance of the orchard. In the first half of the month beside the steady vapor pressure deficit the shoot and leaf surface growth could cause the increased sapflow.

  • The effect of climatic anomalies on the nutrient supply of fruit plantations (Minireview)

    Climatic conditions play an important role in agricultural production. It has a profound influence on the growth, development and yields of a crop, incidence of pests and diseases, water needs and fertilizer requirements in terms of differences in nutrient mobilization due to water stresses. Nowadays, we have to know the dark side of the weather events because it is causing more and more problems and significant hazards to many horticultural regions in Hungary. The aim of this study is to explore the problems of nutrient uptake following climatic anomalies and response. These problems are: (i) water supply problems (water-stress); (ii) drought and frost as temperature­ strees. Reviewing the effects and nutrient disorders caused by climatic anomalies, the following statements can be taken:

    • Nutrient demand of trees can be supplied only under even worse conditions.
    • The most effective weapon against damage of climatic anomalies is preventative action.
    • When developing a fruit orchard, three factors should be taken into consideration: "Location, Location, Location".
    • Moreover, proper choice of cultivars, species and cultivation should provide further possibilities to avoid and moderate the effects of climatic anomalies.
    • Fruit growing technologies especially nutrition should be corrected and adjusted to the climatic events as modifier factors.
    • Urgent task of the near future is to correct and adjust the tested technologies of fruit growing according to these climatic events as modifier factors.

    Optimal nutrient supply of trees decreases the sensitivity for unexpected climatic events. To solve these problems supplementary, foliar fertilization is recommended, which adjusted to phonological phases of trees.

    Another solving is groundcover of soil means a potential opportunity to temper or even avoid climatic anomalies.

  • Assessment of soil characteristics in orchard

    The research field was at Siófok, in Hungary, which is situated in the South East side of Lake Balaton. The physical characteristic of the soil is sandy loam and loam and the peach orchard is irrigated. The detailed goals were mapping and analyzing of physical properties of the soil in water management point of view, mapping the acidity and CaCO3content of soil for precision liming, measurement of humus the element content. Sites with different physical characteristics (from sandy loam to loamy clay) could be distinguished. The reason for this is that besides the possible increase of clayminerals, the increasing rate of colloidal humus content contributes to larger soil plasticity. Statistics also proved positive and strong correlation (r=0.822) between the soil plasticity and humus content. In the case of pH, only a small part of the orchard is has to be limed, since most of the orchard has neutral pH, which is advantageous for nuts and stone fruits. It has to be mentioned, that the CaCO3 supply is also appropriate for the stone fruits. Based on the results hyperspectral imagery can be a good solution for detecting calciferous soils, although these measurements are still need validation.

  • Rootstock effects on fruit drop and quality of 'Arlet' apples

    The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of different growth inducing rootstocks on fruit drop of apple. This research was conducted for 3 years at Nagykutas, Western Hungary on apple cv. 'Arlet'. For the experiments, 3 different growth inducing rootstocks were choosen: M.9 (weak), MM.106 (moderate) and crabapple seedling (strong). There were 3 fruit shedding periods on the trees grafted M.9 and MM.106 rootstocks, but in the case of crabapple seedling, only 2 were found. The measure of fruit drop was closely related to seed count of fruits; seed number was the lowest, fruit drop was the highest. The lowest seed number was counted in fruits from trees on crabapple seedling. Seasonal changes of leaf:fruit ratio mainly depended on shoot growth and fruit drop. The rise of the curve of leaf:fruit ratio was very important during the first phase of fruit development, in especially at the end of June and in the beginning of July. The cause of this is that first and second periods of fruit drop appeared during this term. The rise of the curve was important in the beginning of June and the end of July on crabapple seedling. Decreasing tendency of quality parameters was found of fruits from trees on M.9, MM.106 and seedling rootstocks, except flesh firmness which was the highest in fruits from trees on crabapple seedling.

  • Irrigation modeling in a pear orchard

    The pear has large water requirement, therefore the planting of high density and grass covered pear orchards are needed irrigation
    conditions in Hungary. Drip irrigation spread in the orchards is due to the 90–95% of water use efficiency. One of the key role of irrigation is the
    proper determination of evapotranspiration and crop coefficients. As there is a considerable lack of information for different crops or fruits the
    Penman-Monteith method is used for the estimation of evapotranspiration, using CROPWAT 8.0. The research field was the genetic collection of
    pear at Újfehértó, in Hungary, which is situated in Nyírség meso-region. Our aim was to establish drip irrigation at this site. Based on the results
    of CROPWAT irrigation model the mean amount of the total gross irrigation is between 230–270 mm, within 3 irrigation interval regarding
    climatic and rainfall data of the last 10 years. In 2009, due to heavy drought, the total gross irrigation was 355,4mm/year on sandy soil calculating
    with 45% total available water depletion in 5 irrigation interval. The sizing of the irrigation system was set to the maximum 0.55 l/s/ha, which is
    6.3 l/tree/h. 6.3 l/tree/h can be carried out with a drip emitter having 16 mm wing lines diameter, 4 l/h water flow at 3 atm pressure.

  • Flower constancy of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) to blooming pear plantations

    Studies were made on the composition of pollen loads of honeybees captured at the flowers of blooming pear trees in pear plantations. Also the foraging behaviour of honeybees was observed. Overwhelming majority of honeybees visiting the flowers of 13 pear cultivars in 1996 were pollen gatherers (95.6 per cent). Proportion of pure nectar gatherers was as low as some 3.7 per cent and no more than 0.7 per cent performed mixed behaviour. The analysis of pollen loads of bees collected at pear flowers in blooming pear plantations showed that fidelity was as high as 89-90 per cent towards pear, higher than for another fruit species in other studies. Even those plant species that are regarded to be strong competitors of blooming fruit trees in the literature (Taraxacum officinale, Stellaria media, Lamium purpureum) were scarcely represented in the loads. Accordingly, honeybees can be much more important and more effective pollinating agents of pear cultivars than generally believed.


  • The effect of storage to optical properties in case of two apple fruit varieties

    The keeping quality of fruits is a very important factor in storage point of view, since it could be elongated the consumption time of fruits. In many cases the storage may be necessary, e.g. in short time it is not able to market due to the rich harvest, or all fruits could sell in markets throughout the year. The keeping quality of various fruit species is greatly different; moreover it could be observed some differences between the varieties as well. In our research, we have investigated the spectral properties of the external surface and fl esh of two ripe apple varieties – Jonagored and Granny Smith – before and after storage (about 3°C and about three weeks). The hyperspectral investigation was carried out with AvaSpec-2048 Fiber Optic Spectrometer. The experimental results represented the differences between healthy and chilling injured apple fruits. Furthermore, some indices were created to given countenance to the spectral differences.

  • The effect of different berries in human nutrition

    The aims of this study were on the one hand to compare of examined compounds according to their importance in nutrition and human-health, and on the other hand we made preexperiments to investigate the relationships among antioxidant capacity and the endogenous substances which contribute the antioxidant status of the plants. The following species were involved in the experiment: raspberry, blackberry, black currant, elderberry and sour cherry. These fruits have potent health-promoting antioxidant power. Glucose, fructose, total phenol, formaldehyde and anthocyanin contents were determined in addition to ferric reducing ability. Our results reflected considerable differences in the measured parameters of the analysed species. In blackberries and elderberries the high antioxidant capacity is coupled with low carbohydrate content. Besides the formerly proven correlations between total phenol content, anthocyanin concentration and antioxidant capacity, these parameters also correlated with the measured formaldehyde concentrations, hereby we can follow the methylation /demethylation status of the plant.

  • 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.

  • Floral biological investigations of apple cultivars in relation to fire blight

    Floral activity was studied in two apple cultivars: an Erwinia-tolerant (Treedorn') and a sensitive one (`Sampion'). Since more types of protogyny occur in apples, the period of stigma activity is different. Papillae of the exposed stigma in flowers of 'Freedom' function longer (usually more than a week) than in the delayed homogamous `Sampion'. Despite of this, cv. 'Freedom' is tolerant to Erwinia amylovora (Burr.) Winslow et al., suggesting no relationship between the floral biological type (including the exposure and longevity of stigma) and the infection by E. amylovora. According to SEM micrographs, nectary stomata in `Freedom' are already open in the flower bud, where nectar secretion starts and continues until the senescence of the stigma. However, the long period of nectar secretion does not create optimal conditions for bacterial growth, since nectar production is scant in the flowers of 'Freedom'. The surface of the nectary, its nectar-retaining capacity, and the amount and concentration of nectar may influence the susceptibility of apple cultivars. It is manifested well by the smooth nectary surface with nectary stomata rising slightly above the epidermis in flowers of cv. 'Freedom', contrasting the wrinkled, striate nectary surface with slightly sunken stomata in the flowers of 'Sampion'.

  • Hyperspectral data in water stress detection

    Remote sensing methods are applied widespread to investigate large land fields. Within these methods the status of certain vegetation can be determined based on the reflectance spectra of the chlorophyll, in order to support agriculture, forestry and the evaluation of soil pollution. The main aims of our study were to determine and validate the reflectance spectra of fruit tree species, in order to facilitate the identification and evaluation of stressed fruit trees in orchards.

  • Studies on the drought responses of apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) grafted on different rootstocks

    The morphological and chemical changes in the leaves of eight apple varieties grafted on M4, M26 and MM 106 rootstocks were examined during fruit development in non-irrigated plantation. The aim of the experiment was to examine the defensive mechanisms in apple trees under the mild and serious dryness occurring during fruit development. The content of a relative chlorophyll (SPA D value) of the apple leaves on eastern side of the trees was lower than western and southern sides under drought occurring du ring fruit devclop111ent Under sustained drought from first of July to August the SPAD value, the weight of leaves were larger and the stomata density was significantly larger than in the previous periods. There was a close positive significant correlations bet ween SPAD and stoma density both in the group with less sensitive to drought (r=0,8429) and in the large water demanded group (r=0,9209) equally. The rate of increase in SPAD values and the stoma density was slower in the group with drought tolerant, than in the group required good water supply. The varieties being sensitive to water deficite such as Akane. Pink Lady and Red Rome van Well have a l ready responded intensively to short time of drought by the increasing of carbohydrate and antioxidants product ions. At 42 days of sustained drought as soon as the level of carbohydrate in the leaves decreased, the antioxidant s contents of the leaves rised suddenly in the apple varieties with moderate water requirement s as Greensleeves and ldared. Gala apple variety seemed to be able to defend the drought for longer time because there was no change in relatively high level of carbohydrates and antioxidants of their leaves under severe drought during fruit development.

  • Effect of late spring frost event on nutrition aspects of a sour cherry orchard in East Hungary

    Similarly to 2007, 2011 was also critical year for fruit growers in Eastern-Hungary. Serious frost damage was observed at late blooming period (6 May (T=-1.6°C)) in this region, which caused approximately 60-65% of fruit loss. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of a spring frost event on nutrient uptake and status of the trees of a sour cherry plantation at Újfehértó. The symptoms of frost were observed visually. This visual observation was confirmed by SPAD readings. The frost affected the macroand micronutrient contents of leaves. It was found that the frost affected the nutrient uptake negatively, but the effect of it was not significantly sometimes. It can be stated that the nutrient demand of trees can be supplied only under even worse conditions.

  • Fruit drop: I. Specific characteristics and varietal properties of fruit drop

    The basic conditions of fruit set (synchronic bloom, transfer of pollen, etc.) still do decide definitely the fate of the flower in spite of the best weather conditions. Beyond a set quantity of fruits, the tree is unable to bring up larger load. A system of autoregulation works in the background and causes the drop of a fraction of fruits in spite of the accomplished fertilisation and the equality of physiological precedents. This study discuss this physiological process based on the international specific literature. The further development of fruits maintained on the tree depends mainly on the growing conditions (e.g. water, supply of nutrients, weather adversities, pruning, fruit thinning, biotic damages, etc.), which may cause on their own turn fruit drop especially at the time of approaching maturity.

  • Nutritional aspects of producing fruits organically

    Recent interest to avoid use of agrochemicals in fruit growing to safeguard environmental and human health has stimulated interest in organic fruit production (OFP) all over the world. Organic production requires a holistic approach to agricultural ecosystem management. Because of the perennial nature of orchards, this is not a great departure from conventional orchard management, except that corrective techniques are limited primarily to naturally derived materials. Organic mineral nutrition management hinges on two principles: 1) practices that lead to the build up and maintenance of soil that is biologically active and high in organic matter; 2) supplementing the mineral nutrients provided by the soil with fertilizers from approved sources. Organic orchards should be sited on land with superior soils and preplant soil preparation to increase organic matter and correct any sub-optimal soil characteristics. For successful organic fruit growing the following statement should be considered:Weed management is critical to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Soil and leaf analysis provide the basis for correcting mineral nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in organic production. It may be necessary to use a number of strategies to supply mineral nutrients over the life of the orchard. The slower, natural methods applied require a management approach that is simultaneously patient and dynamic.

  • The vegetable production programme

    The authors' collective when drawing up the development of the vegetable branch emphasizes the supposition that

    • in the future the domestic products will be overwhelming on the home market,
    • a significant quantity of commodities will be exported into neighbouring countries,
    • we may be continuously present at the EU market.

    All these conditions can be based only on strong state assistance.