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Self-incompatibility in pears (Pyrus communis L., Pyrus serotina Rehd. and Pyrus ussuriensis) Review
Published April 19, 2006

Self-incompatibility system and allele pool of three different pear species, European pear (Pyrus communis), Japanese pear (P. serotina) and Chinese pear (P ussuriensis) are displayed. Several inconsistencies and the absence of the harmonization of three different allele series are revealed i...n the European pears. By collecting data from several reports eight incompatibility groups of Japanese pear cultivars could be established. A self-compatible genotype is analysed in details and shown to be a stylar-part mutant. As Japanese pear was the first fruit tree species from which S-ribonucleases were identified, the history of S-genotyping from the beginning to the latest achievements and technical developments can be also monitored from the experiments enumerated. In Chinese pears, seven S-alleles and one incompatibility group could be identified.

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Does foliar nutrition influence the pear fruit quality?
Published June 24, 2003

The influence of the foliar nutrition on the pear fruit quality (Pyrus communis L.) cv. 'Williams' was studied in years 1997 and 1998. We determined the contents of individual sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose and sorbitol) and organic acids (malic, citric, fumaric and shikimic) by HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography). The si...zes of the fruits (diameter, length, weight) were measured as well as the amounts of soluble solids and titrable acids. The experiment comprised two treatments: the foliar nutrition and the control. In the treatment of foliar nutrition the trees were sprayed five times (from May 22 to July 7) with a foliar fertilizer, which contained 15% of P205, 20% of K20, 0.1% of Mn, 0.1% of B and 0.1% of Mo. The foliar nutrition influenced higher quantities of sugars (glucose, sorbitol, soluble solids) and organic acids (malic, citric) but had no effect on the contents of shikimic acid, pH juice and titrable acids. At the treatment of foliar nutrition a trend of decrease in the contents of fructose, sucrose, fumaric acid, boron, and zinc was noticed.

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Nectar production of pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivars
Published June 6, 2000

Detailed studies were made on the nectar production of 44, 16 and 18 pear cultivars, respectively, in a cultivar collection of pear during three consecutive years with highly different weather in the blooming. Results clearly show that pear does not necessarily produce small amount of nectar as stated in the world literature. In fact, pear can ...produce extremely high amount of nectar sometimes much higher than other temperate zone fruit trees species but its nectar production is highly subjected to weather, first of all to air temperature. Low nectar production seems to be more frequent than high one and cold weather can prevent its nectar production at all. On the other hand, results corroborate to the earlier statements on the low sugar concentration of pear nectar. There is a highly significant negative correlation between the amount of nectar produced by pear flowers and its sugar concentration (r = -0.52, n = 291, p< 0.001 for 1996, r = -0.34, n = 197, p< 0.001 for 1998). Sugar concentration in individual flowers may be up, to 40% in exceptional cases but generally it is well below 20%. Very high figures for sugar concentration in pear nectar at the literature seem to be incomprehensible. In contrast of some earlier statement in the literature no real difference could be established in the nectar production of pear cultivars, based on much more measurements than in earlier studies. Very low sugar concentration in pear nectar can explain the fact that the overwhelming majority of honeybees are pollen gatherers at pear trees even in the case of exceptionally high nectar production.


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Some flower characters, variety features and environmental effects affecting bee pollination of pear (Pyrus communis L.): a review of the results of latest research
Published June 6, 2000

Intensive research has been implemented on different aspects of the bee pollination of pear in Hungary in the past decade, extending to the following topics: the effect of the opening sequence of the flowers within the inflorescence of pear cultivars on the effectiveness of bee pollination; the nectar production of flowers of pear cultivars; in...tensity of honeybee visitation and their foraging behaviour at the flowers of pear cultivars; flower constancy of honeybees to pear plantations; competition by weeds in bloom for bee pollination in flowering pear orchards; and some aspects to the bee pollination strategies of pear plantations (the effect of the limitation of bee pollination period on the set and the yield, possible compensation of frost damage of flowers by bee pollination in pear orchards, the optimal size of single cultivar block in pear plantations). The results of these studies are reviewed in this paper and some important aspects that need further studies are outlined.


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Floral biology of tree fruit rootstocks
Published April 19, 2006

The modern nursery industry requires seed sources of a high quality and regular quantity year by year. Besides the seed sources of processed cultivars (Bartlett pear, Shipley, Elberta peach) special seed orchards are planted with selected seed trees producing high quality and genetically determined seed (hybrid seed or inbred lines). Seedlings ...are still the most common commercial source of rootstocks for stone fruits (almond, apricot, peach, plum, prune and walnut). Although clonal rootstocks are spreading, usage of seedlings is still predominant at stone fruits and nuts. For successful seed production and planning of seed orchard the knowledge on floral biology, flower fertility, pollination, blossom time of trees (selected clone or cultivars) used for seed production is essential. In this field very little systematic research was carried out most of the papers were published in the second half of the 20th century. Our mini review gives an overview on the importance of flower fertility in the mating systems applied in seed orchards, and the research results on floral biology of fruit tree rootstocks propagated by seed (Prunus avium, Prunus mahaleb, Prunus armeniaca, Prunus cerasifera, Prunus insititia, Prunus amygdalus, P persica, P amygdalopersica, Pyrus pyraster, Pyrus communis and Pyrus betulifolia) over the last decades.

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The Hungarian pear germplasm as source of genetic variability for breeding programmes
Published May 10, 2010

TheHungarian pear collection (Pyrus communis L.) consists of 423 genotypes distributed over seven genebanks inHungary. This is one of themost extensive collections of native and cultivated pears found in Eastern Europe and includes a wide range of genotypes with small size fruit (referred to as “Miniature pears”). Based on the in situ and e...x situ measures taken by governmental and other institutions for fruit tree conservation in Hungary, an overview is given on some activities regarding areas of Pyrus collection and genebanks where pears are collected and grown. Descriptions of traits of miniature pears found in Hungarian genebanks for the interest of genetic characterization and breeding are presented.

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Severely pollen-limited fruit set in a pear (Pyrus communis) orchard revealed by yield assessments and DNA-based paternity assignment of seedlings
Published September 19, 2007

In commercial fruit tree orchards, consistently high yields are necessary for a durable economy. The Swedish pear cultivar 'Carola' has been noted for low setting in some orchards, possibly due to insufficient pollination. In this study, fruit set was evaluated in a research orchard where `Carola' had been planted together with four potential p...ollinators. Total yield and number of fruits was noted during three and four years, respectively. In 2003, seeds were germinated from the harvested `Carola' fruits, and the paternity of three seedlings from 50 trees was determined with RAPD analysis. 'Clapp's Favourite' had sired 39.6% of the seedlings, closely followed by `Seigneur d'Esperen' (30.7%) and 'Clara Frijs' (26.7%) whereas 'Skanskt sockerparon' only sired 1.1% of the seedlings. The remaining 2.3% appeared to have been derived by selfing. Pollen-limited seed set was indicated at surprisingly short distances; accumulated number of fruits on the `Carola' trees was significantly higher when separated by only 2 m from one of the two most efficient pollinators, 'Clapp's Favourite' or 'Seigneur d'Esperen‘, compared to trees 4—l0 in away in the same row. Number of viable seeds per fruit was also higher in fruits from trees immediately adjacent to the pollinators, suggesting an effect of improved pollination success. The importance of very short inter-cultivar distances for efficient pollen transfer became even more clear when comparisons involved the true pollination distances as determined by RAPD; the accumulated yields decreased linearly from 55 kg at a 2 in distance to only 17 kg at 13 m.

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Biochemical changes in pear (Pyrus communis L. depending on different phases of the dormancy
Published August 13, 2004

Pear cultivars of variable frost tolerance were tested as for frost injuries suffered as a consequence of artificial freezing temperatures during the endodormancy as well as the ecodormancy. Damages were registered according to a visually defined scale, then peroxidase and polyphenol-oxidase activity was checked in buds, spurs and limbs. to our results, 'Packham's Triumph' was the most frost tolerant cultivar. Regarding enzyme activity of both enzymes, the performance of cultivars displaying different susceptibility was also different in spurs as well as in buds. Results referring to the endodormancy were especially instructive. During the ecodormancy, data obtained at the same time indicated the differences existing between the developmental stages of dormancy in the respective cultivars.

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Selection of the chance seedlings of `Mézes körte' (Pyrus communis L.) from the gene bank of Keszthely
Published March 19, 2007

We have concluded the selection tests of the `Mézes körte' seedlings planted in the spring of 2006, with special emphasis on the cotyledonary, foliage leaf and the height of plant. Out of the 75 seeds planted in rows, there were 40-45 pieces growing out, so during the first cotyledonary test we had to calculate with almost 40% decay. On 12th ...April 2006, we recorded some of the important characteristics of the seedlings in their cotyledonary stage which characteristics were important from the point of view of selection (cotyledonary form, cotyledonary length, cotyledonary thickness, cotyledonary colour, cotyledonary petiole length, cotyledonary petiole thickness, cotyledonary petiole colour). The above morphological characteristics are shown in Table No. 1-6. We have also tested the seedling in foliage leaf state, paying special attention on the development stage of the plants (colour of foliage leaf , height of plant). We have completed statistical calculations of the two above mentioned characteristics. The result of that is summarised in Table No. 8-9. The variation coefficient show smaller value in the case of the foliage leaf number (15-32%), while the wider range of spread of the data referring to the height of the plant is shown by the 33-61% CV values. On charts No 4-9. we present the relationship between the height of the plant and the number of foliage leaf, as well as the differences between the two graphs. Based on the above charts and graphs it can be defined that the 40% destruction of the developing seedlings during the period till the next measurement reached 70-80% level. In spite of this however some seedlings showed strong and balanced growth (A44, B42, C25, D16, E5, E39, F38), the further testing and selection of those is to be completed in the future.

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Floral biological studies on pear cultivars in relation to fire blight susceptibility
Published May 10, 2004

Floral biological characteristics that may influence cultivar susceptibility to fire blight were studied in 10 pear cultivars in two Hungarian orchards from 1999 to 2003. The receptaculo-ovarial, automorphic nectary is usually bigger in tolerant cultivars than in susceptible ones. Nectary stomata are meso- or xeromorphic. Susceptible cultivars ...tend to have more xeromorphic stomata, where guard cells are located 1-3 cell rows below the epidermis. The size of nectar chambers is usually smaller in susceptible cultivars. Floral nectar, consisting mainly of glucose and fructose, is more abundant and less concentrated if the cultivar is susceptible to fire blight. The amount of chlorogenic acid was higher in the flowers of tolerant cultivars than in susceptible ones.

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DNA-based determination of suitable pollinating cultivars for the pear cultivar 'Carola' (Pyrus communis)
Published March 19, 2007

Pollen-limited fruit set has long been suspected in some relatively low-yielding orchards with the Swedish pear cultivar 'Carola'. Fruit was therefore harvested on 23 'Carola' trees in a commercial pear orchard. The seeds were germinated and five seedlings from each tree were sampled to determine which of the surrounding cultivars had been the ...most successful pollinators. Leaves of 'Carola', the 7 putative pollinating cultivars and the 115 seedlings were analysed with 6 RAPD primers. By comparison of the band patterns, paternity could be ascertained for 74 seedlings. The by far most successful pollinator was 'Clara Frijs' which had sired approx. half of the seedlings, followed by 'Herzogin Elsa', `Skanskt Sockerpiiron', 'Alexandre Lucas', 'Coloree de Juillet' and 'Doyenne du Cornice'. The latter is the maternal parent of 'Carola', and these two cultivars must therefore share one S-allele and hence can only be semi-compatible. In addition, 6% of the seedlings were in all likelihood derived from selling_ since they showed no bands that did not occur also in 'Carola'. Maximum distance between 'Carola' trees and suitable pollinators should not exceed 15-20 tn. Longer distances may produce a serious dearth of compatible pol­len as evidenced by the large percentage of seedlings derived either from selling. (25%) or from long-distance (> 40 m) pollen transfer (25%) when 'Carola' trees were surrounded by non-preferred pollinators.

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Comparative study of the vegetative and generative organs in pear varieties
Published June 20, 2006

An assortment of 17 pear varieties was examined in 2006 at Keszthely, Department of Horticulture, Georgicon Faculty of Agriculture, Veszprem University. The selected varieties were planted in 1980, grafted on seedling rootstock and represented the majority of existing pear plantations in Hungary. The main objective was the determination of suit...ability of the most important varieties for the purpose of intensive growing technologies even when grafted on vigorous seedling rootstock. The most important growing and fruiting characteristics of the varieties have been assessed and evaluated from the point of view of productivity. We stated that the relations of the trunk or the main axis to the lateral branches and fruiting structures are all subject to varietal effects and are valuable indices of the growing character. The quotient of the diameters of trunk and branch should be around 0.3-0.4, and the relative frequency of fruiting structures (Dárda, nyárs, vessző) meaning the ability of branching and regeneration associated with accurate pruning policies are decisive from the point of view of promising success.

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