The program of the Research Institute of Cegléd, comprises the acclimation and selection of 7 Prunus-species and 39 cultivars grafted on Myrobalan C. 679 (P. cerasifera) seedling stocks. In addition two varieties have been investigated on three different rootstocks each: Myrobalan C. 174 (P. cerasifera),... Bitter almond C. 449 (P. arnygdalus var. amara) and Sweet almond C. 471 (P. amygdalus var. dulcis). Fruits of commercial quality are produced maroly on some cultivars of P. salicina-, P. italica- and P. cerasifera character. Authors explain the three possible causes of low yields experienced in non-European plums:
1/ unfavorable environmental conditions
2/ lack of irrigation and
3/ superficial information concerning the variety, rootstock and adequate traditions as well as growing practices.
A rather tight correlation has been stated between blooming dates and the main ripening period. However, the early blooming time alone cannot be considered as the cause of low productivity. The decay of plum trees is attributed to special ecological requirements and phytosanitary problems of the foreign plum cultivars. The analysis of regression revealed stochastic relations involving several other characters too, which facilitate the planning of cross-combinations in the breeding program.
The author dealt with plum species representing different eco-geographic areas by their genetic adaptation and their hybrids, as European (P. domestica, P. italica, P. cerasifera), Asian (P. salicina, P. simonii, P. ussuriensis), American (P. ame...ricana, P. besseyi, P. munsoniana, P. tomentosa). The rootstocks of the trees examined were seedlings of C. 679 myrobalan with the exception of Laroda and Santa Rosa II, which were grown on three different stocks: seedlings of C. 174 myrobalan, C. 449 bitter almond and C. 471 sweet almond. The size of peduncle, length of pistil, stamen number per flower, relative stamen number (SN/PL) have been suitable for description and distinction of varieties. Similarly shape of leaves, length of petiole, length and width of blade helped the identification.
The ratio of the dimensions of leaves, length of petiole and of leaf blade, also contributed to the distinction of European, Asian and American plum species, notwithstanding their relations with ecological conditions as well as historical, technical properties, pomological features, etc. Computed indicators (relative stamen number and shape-index of leaves) also have been useful data.
Significant correlations have been found between colour of nectaries and mean values of variety-groups. The potential values of non-European varieties for purposes of commercial production could be forecasted from the point of view of quality, ecological, pomological as well as market value. It is important, however, to know the effect of the rootstock and growing site as well as their interaction, on the one hand, whereas the resistance or tolerance of the varieties as limiting factors, at least to the sharka (Plum pox) virus, Xanthomonas pruni, on the other hand (cf. Surányi & Erdős, 2004a and 2004b).