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  • Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) susceptibility of old Hungarian apple cultivars

    The aim of the Hungarian apple breeding program started in the Department of Fruit Science was to find resistant apple cultivars against major diseases (scab, powdery mildew, fire blight). The outbreak of fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) in 1996 motivated us to search new resistant sources principally from old traditional apple cultivars. First of all, cultivars have been gathered since 1997 from Carpathia (Visk) and evaluated between 2001 and 2003. In this recent study evaluation of resistance of old Hungarian genotypes to fire blight collected from the English National Fruit Collection (Brogdale, Faversham) is presented.

    13 old Hungarian apple cultivars in 2002, and 38 genotypes in 2005 have been evaluated. We used `Idared' and 'Jonathan M41' as susceptible controls and 'Liberty' and 'Remo' as resistant ones. Shoots of two-year-old potted plants were inoculated with a mixture of virulent E. amylovora isolates (Ea2, Ea60, Ea67) at a concentration of 5 x 108 cells/ml. Resistance of apple cultivars was evaluated weekly, four times after inoculation by disease severity of symptoms. Numbers of bacterial colonies in 1 cm length shoot were determined in the fourth week after infection.

    8 cultivars in 2002 and 9 cultivars in 2005 displayed notable resistance to fire blight based on one-year data. Based on the coincident data of both years, out of the cultivars collected also from Carpathia ‘Pónyik', and `Sikulai' were found to be resistant and gene sources additional old Hungarian valuable apple genotypes could be selected: `Szabadkai szercsika' and `Tordai piros !davit'. The cultivar `Szemes alma' originated from Visk has proved to be recurrently resistant.

    The number of bacterial cells in shoots of the investigated cultivars correlated with the severity of symptoms. With this method, which was introduced by us earlier, we can screen cultivars displaying weak visible symptoms, which cannot be proposed as a source of resistance because of their latent infection.

  • The effect of nectar production to the gathering behaviour of honeybees and to the foraging activity of wild bees at apple flowers

    Intensity of bee visitation (honeybees and wild bees), foraging behaviour of honeybees and nectar parameters (nectar production, sugar concentration, sugar content in nectars) were inspected at 18 apple cultivars for three consecutive years. Honeybee visitation was calculated to be some 3.07 bee visits at a single apple flower a day but wild bee activity was very low, only some 0.11 wild bee visits per flower per day.

    The nectar production (nectar content) of apple flowers was fairly different according to the cultivars and the nectar production (nectar content) of flowers was negatively correlated with the sugar concentration in nectar. Interestingly, at the majority of the inspected 18 cultivars the nectar production has shown minor or no changes in the morning and at the afternoon. The nectar production (nectar content) of flowers clearly encouraged the total bee activity at the inspected cultivars (r = 0.54). Bees visited abundant nectars with greater sugar concentration most intensely than lees abundant nectars with smaller sugar concentration.

    Nectar parameters, however, affected the activity of honeybees with different types of gathering behaviour in different way. More intense activity by pollen gatherer and mixed behaviour honeybees was observed at cultivars producing abundant nectar (pollen gatherers: r = 0.65, mixed behaviour: r = 0.79). The activity of pollen gatherer honeybees and of mixed behaviour bees, on the other hand, was negatively correlated to the sugar concentration in nectar (pollen gatherers: r = -0.51, mixed behaviour: r = -0.73). This can be explained by the fact that their behaviour was much more affected by the amount of pollen than by any nectar parameters. Accordingly, "mixed behaviour honeybees" should probably rather be called as "pollen gatherers with nectar load" instead of "nectar gatherers with pollen load", as widely used in literature. The activity of ineffective side worker nectar gatherers was greatly encouraged by the sugar concentration in nectar (p = 0.63), similarly to the pure (top) nectar gatherer honeybees (r = 0.72). There was a negative relationship between the nectar production (nectar content) of flowers and the activity of these behaviour classes (nectar gatherers: r = -0.47, side workers: r = -0.36).

    Concluding the findings we can state that the activity of pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour honeybees is strongly encouraged by greater nectar production (greater nectar content) of apple flowers. Their activity, however, is mostly dependent firstly on the amount of pollen. This is the reason why the sugar concentration is in a negative relationship to the activity of pure pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bee. On the other hand, pure nectar gatherers and side worker nectar gatherers are greatly encouraged by the sugar concentration of apple nectar the amount of nectar was not a definite influence on their activity.

    Side worker honeybees occurred at each cultivar inspected, however, their ratio varied widely among cultivars. So we can draw the conclusion that, in contradiction with earlier believes, side worker nectar gathering is a general phenomenon at apple flowers. The activity of side workers depends first of all on the relative position of stamens and petals; however, low sugar concentration of nectars can probably moderate their activity but probably do not affect pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bees.

    Wild bee visitation was very low; the wild bee species observed (Osmia cornuta, Andrena flavipes, Anthophora acervorum, Bombus terrestris, Bombus lapidarius and Halictus simplex) comprised some 3.44 per cent of the total bee visitation at apple flowers only. Wild bee visitation was in a positive correlation with the nectar production (nectar amount) of flowers (r = 0,4) and with the sugar content of nectar (r = 0.46) but it was negatively correlated with the sugar concentration in nectar (r = -0,27).

    Our result calls the attention to the importance of nectar parameters in the effective honeybee pollination of apple plantations. Most effective pollinating activity of honeybees can be expected in plantations with cultivars of high nectar production because this feature seem so encourage the activity of those behaviour classes (pure pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bees) that are the most effective pollinating agents among honeybees.

  • Exploring and preserving old apple cultivars of the Carpathian basin

    In a few scattered orchards of the Carpathian basin one can still find our most common historical apple cultivars and certain traces of traditional cultivation. We consider it an important part of the Department's breeding work to explore old apple cultivars which can be used as parent partners and sources of resistance, to identify them pomologically as well as to examine the production and marketing value of old cultivars recommended for cultivation in ecological production and in gardens. This paper documents the results of expedition and collecting work carried out in three regions of the Carpathian basin (foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania, Aggtelek karst area), and also the saving of old Hungarian apple cultivars preserved until present in the English National Fruit Collection. A total of more than 100 old apple cultivars and variations, as well as 13 valuable genotypes were collected during our explorations in the above mentioned four areas. A further aim of our work is to contribute to the protection of still savable archaic fruit production relict= areas and to the preservation of cultivars in the certain regions, and also to promote the recognition of the aesthetic landscape value of old apple trees and endemic orchards of old cultivars. Our good co-operating partners in this work are Aggtelek National Park, Farmer Club of Visk and the consultation centre of Hungarian horticulturist training beyond the border in Nyárádszereda.

  • Genetic diversity in a collection of apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) cultivars as revealed by RAPD markers

    A collection of 151 apple cultivars was investigated with 7 RAPD primers generating 71 informative bands, to evaluate genetic variability and relatedness. All cultivars presumably derived through genetic recombination were distinguished whereas identical DNA profiles indicated that some cultivars had arisen as sports. A cluster analysis and a PCO did not reveal any distinct geographic patterns, but there was a weak tendency for Swedish and foreign cultivars to differentiate.. Many cultivars however clustered together with either one of their parents or with siblings. Overall genetic diversity among the 151 cultivars was estimated with Nei's diversity index (H), 0.269, and with Shannon's index (H'), 0.594. The cultivars were also analysed in six groups, according to time of origination and country of origin, with an average H = 0.262 and H' = 0.546. No major differences in genetic diversity were observed over time or space, although the group with recent, foreign cultivars had the lowest diversity (FL = 0.235, H' = 0.493). Comparison between the entire material and a subset with 94 mandate cultivars chosen for preservation in Sweden, showed similar genetic diversity: HFN.rj1E = 0.268, frE,NTIRE, = 0.593 and HMANDATE = 0.263, WMANDATE = 0.575. No major differences in band frequencies were observed between these two sets, but 5 RAPD bands were missing in the set with mandate cultivars.

  • Effect of pruning on disease incidence of apple scab and powdery mildew in integrated and organic apple production

    In a three-year study, the effect of two winter pruning treatments (strong and weak) on apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera leucotricha) was evaluated on six apple cultivars (`Rewena', `Elstar', 'Liberty', 'Gala', 'Pilot' and `Jonica') in two environmentally-benign apple production systems (integrated and organic). Results on apple scab showed that compared to the integrated production system, the pathogen caused significantly more infection on the leaves of cvs. `Elstar', 'Gala' and `Jonica' in the organic production system. The effect of pruning treatments on apple scab was mainly detectable on the cultivars susceptible to the disease such as cvs. 'Gala' and `Jonica'. The weak pruning correlated with a higher level of apple scab infection than the strong pruning, especially in the organic production system. Primary mildew infection was very low in both protection systems (below 2 %), therefore, effect of pruning on primary mildew infection could not be analysed. Low secondary mildew incidence was detected in the organically treated orchard part; however, incidence of powdery mildew was significantly higher (P> 0.05) on cvs. 'Elstar', 'Pilot' and `Jonica' in the integrated orchard part compared to cvs. 'Gala', 'Rewena' and 'Liberty'. The highest incidence of mildew was on cv. 'Elstar'. Pruning had very low effect on incidence of secondary mildew infection on leaves.

  • Historical apple cultivars that display high level of resistance to fire blight

    Following the first outbreak of fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winslow et al. in Hungary, we have started research with the aim to screen domestic gene sources, mostly historical Hungarian apple cultivars, for disease resistance as part of an apple breeding program for multiple resistance. The present study was conducted with the aim to choose the most tolerant historical apple cultivars among 25 selected cultivars by screening their behavior towards fire blight under controlled conditions. Six cultivars were shown to be the most disease tolerant: `Batul', 'London pepin', Nemes Sóvári Alma', `Sikulai', `Szemes alma', Wilmos renet'. We evaluated these cultivars by investigating both morphological- characteristics under original environmental circumstances and fruit quality. The cultivars had a remarkable degree of fire blight resistance compared to the control cultivars. These were not competitive with the commercially grown 'Jonathan M40' during cultivar tests but on the basis of certain characteristics they could serve as genetic sources for breeding new varieties.

  • Evaluation of fruit quality of old apple cultivars originating from the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, for utilization in breeding and in organic farming

    In the frame of the apple breeding program at the Department of Fruit Science old cultivars found in the Carpathian basin were involved in examination as well. Beside testing susceptibility to fire blight (Erwinia amylovora of old genotypes (historical, local and regional cultivars) originating from scattered orchards of Visk (foot of the Carpathian Mountains), fruit quality was also evaluated and other open-field observations were made.

    According to the results of inner content examinations, 'Szemes alma' and 'Sikulai alma', chosen as gene sources for breeding to resistance against fire blight, had inner content values worthy to mention in some aspects, and competing with those of the control cultivar 'Jonathan'. The quality of 'Pónyik alma', also recommended as a gene source is confirmed by the data of earlier literature. Further three cultivars ('Batul', 'Vilmos renet', 'Zöld sóvári') also proved to be good based on resistance against Erwinia amylovora, the first two cultivars are suitable from the point of view of fruit quality, too.

    In our field observations, susceptibility to apple scab and powdery mildew was evaluated. Among cultivars selected from the foot of the Carpathian Mountains on the base of resistance against Erwinia amylovora, the production value of 'Szemes alma' is worsened by its high susceptibility to apple scab. Further selected cultivars ('Sikulai', 'Pónyik alma', 'Batul', 'Vilmos renet') are not too susceptible to fungal diseases and their fruit quality is also suitable, therefore they can be recommended for direct planting in ecological farming or in restoring scattered orchards.

  • Metaxenic pollen effect of scab resistant apple cultivars on the fruit of apple

    As a part of an apple breeding program, we have examined the pollen effect on the fruit appearance and inner quality of different apple cultivars in the Corvinus University of Budapest Department of Fruit Science. Five apple cultivars ('Golden Reinders', 'Regal Prince', 'Rewena', 'Renora', 'Idared') have been crossed by the pollen of some new and some traditional cultivars in our experiment. The measurements were carried out in the analytic and fruit examining laboratory of the Department of Fruit Science. The diameter, height and stem length were measured by digital caliper. We have also examined the squash ratio, soluble solid- and acidic content. Sugar content was calculated by a schedule released by the International Sugar Committee (ISC). From the sugar- and acidic content, we could also count the Pomona-value.

    We have observed interesting effects according to some attributes in some crossing combinations with the help of statistical analysis. Crossing 'Golden Delicious' with 'Freedom', 'Prima', and 'Baujade' have resulted in smaller fruit size than other combinations. No significant differences could be observed on `Golden Reinders' fruits according to metaxenic coloration in the year of the examination. On the other hand the color modifying effect of pollen donating cultivars have manifested on the red fruits of 'Regal Prince' (Gala Must). `Freedom' as a pollen donating cultivar has resulted outstanding value in our consistency measurements. Squash ratio was the highest in combinations pollinated by 'Prima' and `Reglindis'. We have noticed balanced values when measuring inner qualities, only `Reka' has caused lower acidic content. Significant differences have been found in combinations according to the number of frivolous seeds. No frivolous seeds were found in the combinations 'Golden Reinders' x 'Freedom' and 'Idared' x 'Prima'. Almost two frivolous seeds were found in the fruits of the combination 'Renora' x 'Sóvári' in average.

  • Fruit coloration of apple cultivars

    One of the most important parameter of apple cultivars is the scale and the intensity of the coloration of fruits. Nowadays among the bicolour cultivars those are the most saleable which have the highest and darkest fruit coloration. In our three years old study cultivars born with bud mutation and cross breading were examined, which have superior coloration peculiarities than their parental cultivars. According to our results among the observed cultivars the cvs. ’Gala Decarli-Fendeca’, ’Galaval’, ’Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’, ’Early Red One’ and ’Red Cap Valtod’ reached favourable high fruit surface colour (80-100%) regardless the vintage effect. Concerning the colour intensity, that is the darkness of the red colour most of the cultivars (‘Gala Venus Fengal’, ‘Gala Fendeca-Fendeca’, ‘Galaval’, ‘Jeromine’, ‘Red Topaz’, ‘Early Red One’, ‘Crimson Crisp’, ‘Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’) showed excellent values (4,5-5,0). Based on the fruit surface colour and the fruit colour intensity a new index number, the fruit coloration index was created by us, which describes the coloration features in a complex way.

  • Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) resistance in apple varieties associated with molecular markers

    The invasive bacterial disease fire blight, caused by Erwinia amylovora has the potential to destroy fruit tree orchards all over Europe. Effective plant protection methods are lacking in many countries, highlighting the increasing importance placed on identification of germplasm with heritable disease resistance. Recent l y. a promising QTL (quantitative trait locus) was identified on linkage group 7 in the apple cultivar 'Fiesta· which is derived from ·cox's Orange Pippin' . I n the present study, 144 Swedish and foreign apple cultivars were analysed with the SCAR markers AE I 0-375 and GE-8019. which flank-. this QTL. Twenty-nine of the analysed cultivars had both markers. 78 had either AE I 0-375 or GE-8019, and 37 cultivars did not carry an) of the two markers. Seventeen cultivars. 7 with both markers and I 0 not having either of the two markers, were then inocoluted with the bacterium in a 4uaran1i ne greenhouse test. Cultivars carrying both DNA markers were significantly less susceptible than cultivars lacking the markers, P<0.001. Cultivars that were most resistant had both markers and had 'Cox· in their pedigree. Unrelated cultivars with the markers may still lack the QTL.

  • Evaluation of crop yield and fruit quality in organic apple production

    In this study, crop yield and fruit quality parameters (soluble solid concentration, sugar, total acid, and vitamin C content) of 15 apple cultivars including old, resistant and currently grown cultivars. The highest fruit yield among all 15 cultivars was obtained on CV. Jonagold with 15.5 kg/tree, while the lowest yield was measured on the resistant cultivar Reanda with 8.1 kg/tree. There were no significant differences among the cultivars in fruit diameter ranging from 70 mm in the case of cv. Húsvéti rozmaring to 82 mm for cv. Mutsu. Values of soluble solids concentration of the cultivars varied between 15.5% for cv. Téli Banán and 19.2% for cv. Renora. Sugar content values showed a similar tendency to soluble solids content. The highest and lowest total sugar content was observed on cvs. Jonagold and Renora and cv. Re­tina with 17% and 12.4%, respectively. Total acid content values ranged between 0.18% and 0.53% for cvs. Jonagold and Remo, respectively. Values of vitamin C content for the 15 apple cultivars varied between 2 mg% and 4 mg% for cv. Retina and cv. Mutsu, respectively.

  • The impact of location, row direction, plant density and rootstock on the sunburn damage of apple cultivars

    The effect of row direction (N-S, E-W), plant density (conventional and intensive) and rootstock (M9, MM106 and crab apple) on the sensitivity of 41 apple cultivars to sunburn injury was studied at 6 locations (Derecske, Kálmánáaza, Nagykutas, Nagylapos, Siófok, Tornyospálca).

    During the observations the cultivars had rootstock-specific properties in respect of sunburn-susceptibility. Accordingly, the injury was decreased in the order: M9, MM106 and seedling rootstocks. The differences in sensitivity depend on the canopy of trees, caused finally by the growing vigour of rootstocks. Accordingly, the highest value of sunburn injury was observed on M9 rootstock, because this rootstock has a dwarfing effect upon the scion cultivars. Thus, vegetative area of these trees grow very slowly and the foliage is not enough compact to protect the fruit from solar radiation. The size and density of the foliage increased in the order: M9, MM 106 and crab apple seedling as rootstock. Moreover, relationships were demonstrated between the diameter of upper part of the crown, the leaf area, the number of fruits per tree and the injury of sunburn.

    Authors categorized the cultivars in respect of values of sunburn incidence: 1. „Not sensitive", II. „Moderately sensitive" and HI. „Strongly sensitive" categories were constituted. Generally, Topaz and Gala cultivars showed low damage (or were free from symptoms), in contrast to this, Golden mutants suffered relatively much. The most sensitive cultivar was Jonica on all the three rootstocks. We searched for relationship between the fruit quality parameters and the frequency of sunburn. Significant correlation was found in the cases of fruit size and the extent of cover-colour. The latter is interpreted with the fact that the best coloured fruits are found on the periphery of crown as a consequence of more intense irradiation.

  • Characterization of quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.) cultivars using SSR markers developed for apple

    Quince (Cydonia oblongaMill.) is a minor fruit crop, which is primarily used for marmalade, jam and sauce.Very few quince cultivars are known all over the world and in many cases similar names are used for presumably different cultivars. The aim of the present study was to evaluate and characterize the genetic diversity of 36 quince cultivars and selections with SSR markers. Seven out of 8 SSR markers designed from apple sequences could successfully yield amplification also in quince cultivars. Number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 3 alleles. These allele numbers are quite low when compared to apple. It is supposed to be the consequence of a genetic bottleneck. In spite of the low allele number per locus, the 36 quince cultivars formed 30 different genotypes. The ratio of homozygosity was low, which might be coupled with the self-(in)compatibility phenotype of quinces. SSR markers proved unable to differentiate putatively closely related cultivars (e.g. ‘Bereczki’ and ‘Bereczki bôtermő’). In general, the level of polymorphism among the tested quince genotypes was much restricted due to the low allele number detected. However, it must be considered that the number of analysed SSR loci is not enough high to estimate the overall heterozygosity of the quince genome. Further experiments are needed and the SSR markers proved to be a reliable and useful tool for such analyses.

  • Anatomical study of the leaves and petioles of scab resistant and susceptible apple cultivars

    Anatomic studies have been performed on the leaf blade, petiole and annual shoot on six apple cultivars by means of scanning electron as well as light microscope. Four of the cultivars examined are resistant to scab (Florina, Freedom, MR-10, MR-11), whereas two of them are susceptible (Jonathan and Idared). Preliminary results suggest that differences in the width of cross sections of leaf blades, in hairyness, in the shape and size of epidermal cells, moreover, in the cross sections of petioles and shoots are considerable. Some of the anatomical properties seem to be correlated with scab resistance or susceptility of the respective cultivars. Therefore, further studies extending to other cultivars may corroborate our claims to find causal relations between anatomical traits of the leaves and disease, especially scab resistance of apple cultivars.

  • Epidemiology of brown rot on two apple cultivars in an organic apple orchard

    In a two-year-study, the temporal development of brown rot (Monilinia fructigena) on fruits was analysed in an organic apple orchard on an early (Prima) and one late (Idared) maturing cultivars at Debrecen-Józsa in Hungary. Out of five mathematical functions (linear, exponential, three-parameter logistic, Gompertz, Bertalanffy-Mitscherlich), the three-parameter logistic function gave the best fit to brown rot incidence of all cultivars in both years. Disease progress started at the end of June for cv. Prima and at the end of July for cv. Idared, then disease increased continuously from 6-8 weeks up to harvest in all cultivars. Descriptive disease variates derived from the three-parameter logistic function were used to analyse disease progress. These were: Yf, the final disease incidence; Y55, fruit incidence at day 55; Y95, fruit incidence at day 95; b and q, the relative and the absolute rate of disease progress, respectively; T1.5, the time when disease incidence reaches 1.5 %; M, the inflection point and AUDPC, area under disease progress curve. Descriptive disease variates were significantly different (P<0.05) for cv. Prima compared to cv. Idared, except for the relative and absolute rate of disease increase, b and q, respectively. The largest differences among cultivars were in the values of the AUDPC. Disease progress curves and descriptive disease variates were presented and the practical implications of the results were discussed.

  • Rate of scab infection and quality parameters of apple fruit in organic and integrated production systems

    In this study, the rate of scab infection and quality parameters (content of vitamin-C, dry matter, sugar, total acids, specific weight, quality index and flesh firmness) of some apple cultivars are given, moreover, the relation between those characters was examined in two environmental systems (organic and integrated) in a rainy season. In the organic fruit production, scab infection of leaves was significantly higher than in the integrated system, in case of the same cultivars, which means that the rate of decrease in leaf area was heavier in the organic production. Cultivars did not differ statistically in parameters of inner content when the integrated system was compared to the organic one. Results did not show statistical difference between loss of leaf area caused by apple scab and the parameters of inner content, which is attributed to the regeneration of leaf area due to favourable weather conditions. Data on apple scab and inner content of the fruit justify essentially the environmental systems of apple production.


  • Study on the micronutrient content of soil and leaf of an organic apple orchard in Eastern Hungary

    The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between micronutrient content of soil and leaf in an organic apple orchard. The experiment was carried out at the Experimental Site of the University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural Sciences at Pallag in an apple cultivar collection in Eastern Hungary in 2002-2004. The soil sampling was carried out twice per year, at the beginning and the end of the vegetation period in 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively. The micronutrient content of leaf of seven apple cultivars (Jonagold, Mutsu, Idared, Red Elstar, Egri piros, Reka, Remo) was studied according to phenological phases of apple (April — September) to investigate the dynamism of plant nutrient uptake.

    It was found that results of leaf analysis correlated with the obtained results of soil. According to the data of July, manganese and copper content of leaf is in the 'favourable' but zinc is the 'low' range of nutrient supply category. Moreover, there were significant differences in the micronutrient content of leaf among cultivars. From our results it is evident that more reliable data were obtained for fruit nutrition by determining of micronutrient content of soil and plant and calculate their ratios as well.

  • Evaluation of generative accomplishment of new apple cultivars in Hungary

    In a two year study, 14 new apple cultivars (cvs ’Gala Venus Fengal’, ’Gala Decarli-Fendeca’, ’Galaval’, ’Jugala’, ’Gala Schnitzer (S) Schniga’, ’Red Cap Valtod (S)’, ’Early Red One’, ’Jeromine’, ’Crimson Crisp (Co-op 39)’, ’Red Topaz’, ’Wilton’s Red Jonaprince’, ’Red Idared’, ’Fuji September Wonder’ and club cultivar) were studied in Eastern Hungary at Nyírbátor. The following parameters were measured: trunk cross sectional area (cm2), harvest time with yield (date, kg/tree, number/tree), fruit size (mm), fruit surface color (%), and color intensity of the fruit surface (1-5). According to our two year assessments regarding, the best generative accomplishment was achieved for the cvs ‘Gala’ sorts trained to slender spindle and the cv ‘Red Jonaprince’ trained to super spindle. According to the trunk cross sectional area the ‘Gala’ sport trained to slender spindle showed the strongest growth among the 4 years old trees, while the cv ‘Fuji SW’ and the cv ‘Jeromine’ presented lower vegetative accomplishment. The ripening time of the cultivars started at the end of August and finished at the beginning of October. ‘Gala’ mutants trained to slender spindle provided the highest yields. Fruit size of all cultivars reached the market required standard, however, cvs ‘Red Jonaprince’ and ‘Red Idared’ produced large fruits over 90 mm. The fruit size of the ‘Gala’ sort was 72–75 mm. Most of the cultivars showed high fruit surface color and color intensity.

  • Relationship between several meteorological factors and phenological features of apple cultivars

    The trees observed are grown at Ofeherto, Eastern Hungary in the plantation of an assortment (gene bank) with 586 apple cultivars. Each of the cultivars were observed as for their dates of subsequent phenophases, the beginning of bloom, main bloom and the end of bloom over a period between 1984 and 2001. during this period the meteorological data-base keeps the following variables: daily means of temperature (°C), daily maximum temperature (°C), daily minimum temperature (°C), daily precipitation sums (mm), daily sums of sunny hours, daily means of the differences between the day-time and night-time temperatures (°C), average differences between temperatures of successive daily means (°C). Between the 90th and 147th day of the year over the 18 years of observation. The early blooming cultivars start blooming at 10-21April. The cultivars of intermediate bloom start at the interval 20 April to 3 May, whereas the late blooming group start at 2-10 May. Among the meteorological variables of the former autumnal and hibernal periods, the hibernal maxima were the most active factor influencing the start of bloom in the subsequent spring.

  • Freeze Susceptibility of Fruit Buds in 67 Apple cultivars in Hungary

    Frost damage is one of the most important risks of apple production. Outstanding importance has been attributed to the frost resistance of flower-buds as decisive sites of fruit production. Browning of plants parts and tissues exposed to natural weather adversities are considered as effects of frost. In Hungary, frost damage on flower buds of both the market and new cultivars has not been assessed earlier. Observations referring to the consequences of frost damages of over four critical years, marked by their peculiar winter and spring frost hazards. Parallel observations have been made in four sites of the growing area in the Great-Plain region. 67 apple cultivars have been assessed. Each cultivar was represented by 3 trees, which were sampled at about 1-1.5 m height over ground, where the buds or inflorescences were picked for the purpose to assess the injury. The buds and flowers are cut longitudinally and rated visually according to the extent of browning of the organs and tissues. Susceptibility of different organs of the flower (pistils and anthers) were rated separately. According to our results, most resistant to spring frosts are the following cultivars: 'Gloster', 'Granny Smith' and appreciable tolerance is attributed in 'Gala' and 'Jonathan' with derivatives. Preliminary results that among the scab resistant cultivars, `Baujade', 'Rewena', 'Liberty', `Resi' and 'Renora' are rather frost resistant. Information, lacking hitherto, is obtained upon 'Reka' and 'Reglindis' as for their increased susceptibility.

  • Disease progress of apple scab caused by Venturia inaequalis in environmentally friendly growing systems

    Progression of apple scab epidemic in six apple cultivars, including two current and susceptible (Gala Must, Elstar), two old (Egri Piros, Darusóvári), and two resistant cultivars (Relinda, Releika), were described and analysed in a two-year-study, in two environmental-friendly growing systems (organic and integrated). Curves of disease progress, linear regression analysis of transformed disease incidence data and Area Under Disease Progress Curves (AUDPC) were used to characterise the epidemic processes of the selected cultivars. Cumulative disease progress curves showed continuous but asymmetrical scab development on the moderate or highly susceptible cultivars Gala Must, Elstar and Egri Piros, and on the tolerant or resistant cultivar Darusóvári and Relinda, in both systems. The cultivar Releika showed no symptoms either on fruit or leaf. In linear regression analysis, the best linearisation was given by logistic transformation. Adequate parameters leaf disease incidence rate, of obtained from a regression equation, were higher in the organic system than in the integrated system. Values of AUDPC showed great differences in leaf disease incidences among cultivars and between growing systems. AUDPC gave more differences for comparison of progresses of disease epidemic than growth rate of disease in different systems of disease control. Moreover, the obtained results were compared with similar studies on different pathosystems, and biological interpretations of the analyses are discussed below.

  • Consumer preference for apples: the role of attributes influencing the choice and consumption

    Consumers consider good quality fruits to be those that look good, are firm and offer good flavour and nutritive value. Nowadays, consumers are, however, increasingly  interested  in food qualities which  cannot  be discovered  by  looking, tasting or smelling  the products but their roles are not yet really cleared up. Therefore the objective of this study was to explore the importance of selected kinds of attributes (taste, size, colour, cultivar, origin and price) in fluencing the choice of apples of customers. In accordance with several authors, fruit qualities (taste, size and colour) seemed to be the major attributics influencing the choice of apple independently of people's age and gender. However, the size of fruit had lower importance with increased age. Generally, females gave higher importance rating for most attributes than did male. The price was getting more important for consumer's choice with age which can be connected with their socioeconomic situation. The origin of fruit and the cultivar did not have important influence on consumer's choice. Authors also investigated the preference of consumers for six selected apple varieties ('Jonagold', 'ldared', 'Royal Gala', 'Golden Reinders', 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith'). and pointed out the role of the origin in fruit quality and in choice of apple in the case of 'Granny Smith' cultivar. Apple fruit samples from Austria, Argentina, Chile, Hungary and South Africa were involved in this study. Authors evaluated fruit quality parameters of above cultivars and compared them to consumer preference. Consumer preference usually represented the quality attributes of the fruit well. It is also concluded that degree of liking of apple cultivars varies through gender and age. Children and young consumers preferred 'Royal Gala', 'Granny Smith  and 'Braeburn' mostly. In spite of 'Idared' is one of the cultivars grown on the largest area in Hungary, the lowest preference ratings were given for it in both gender categories. Middle-aged consumers (between 25 and 50 years or age) preferred crispy apples with red or blemished skin color ('Royal Gala' and 'Jonagold'). 'Jonagold' and 'Idared' were the most preferred cultivars for the consumers above the age of 50 likely because of their relatively low price, as price plays a significant influencing role in the purchase of these consumers. The relatively expensive and soury 'Granny Smith' appeared not really preferred by this age group. In spite of the significant differences in instrumentally measured fruit quality parameters among 'Granny Smith' fruit samples from different countries, consumers did not give significantly different preference rating scores for those.

  • Some important growing characteristics of apple and apricot cultivars in two fruit growing regions in Romania

    The aim of this study was to determine some important growing characteristics of 5 resistant apple (Rajka, Rubinola, Topaz, Otawa and Goldstar) and 7 apricot (NJA 19, Goldrich, Harcot, Venus, Comando, Olimp, Cea mai buna de Ungaria) cultivars in two fruit growing regions in Romania from 2000 to 2003. Height of the apple trees (4-year-old tree) ranged between 1.96 m (cv. Topaz) and 2.39 m (cv. Rubinola). Diameter of the crown ranged from 0.96 m (cv. Goldstar) to 1.12 cm (cv. Rajka). The trunk diameter ranged from 3.5 cm (cv. Goldstar) to 5.0 cm (cv. Rajka). The surface of the trunk section was the lowest for cv. Goldstar (9.7 cm') and the largest for cv. Rajka (19.6 cm). Height of the apricot trees (4 years old tree) ranged between 2.69 m (cv. Venus) and 3.38 m (cv. NJA - 19). Diameter of the crown ranged from 2.59 m (cv. Comandor) to 2.77 m (cv. Cea mai buna de Ungaria). The trunk diameter ranged from 9.54 cm (cv. Goldrich) to 13.30 cm (cv. NJA - 19). Length of annual branches was the lowest for cv. Goldrich (45.1 cm) and the highest for cv. NJA - 19 (83.8 cm). Bud swelling of apricot trees began on 8 March for cv. NJA - 19 and ended on 11 March for the control cultivar (Cea mai buna de Ungaria). The blooming started on 16 March for cv. NJA - 19 and 27 Mach for the control cultivar. Duration of fruit growth was 89 days for cv. NJA - 19 and 128 days for cv. Comandor. When the temperature decreased to 1.5 °C (in 2001), percentage of viable pollen grains ranged between 48.86 % (cv. Olimp) and 91.57 % (cv. Venus). The germinating grains ranged from 31 % (cv. Olimp) to 90 % (cv. Harcot). Free pollination was the lowest for cv. NJA - 19 (29 %) and the highest for cv. Harcot (41%), while self-pollination ranged between 6 (cv. Olimp) and 11 % (cvs. Comondor and Harcot). Apple yield ranged from 16.65 t/ha (cv. Otawa) to 24.35 t/ha (cv. Rajka) and the differences varied from 4.45 t/ha to - 3.25 t/ha compared to the control varieties. Apricot yield ranged from 11.47 kg/ tree or 9.53 t/ha (cv. Cea mai buna de Ungaria), to 38.83 kg/tree or 27.34 t/ha (cv. Olimp) and the differences varied from 3 t/ha to 17 t/ha compared to the control varieties. Apple fruit weight ranged from 162 g (cv. Otawa) to 222 g (cv. Goldstar) and apricot fruit weight from 42.52 g (cv. Goldrich) to 68.38 g (cv. Comandor). Color, taste and aroma were very specific to cultivars.

  • 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.


  • Apple powdery mildew caused by Podosphaera leucotricha: some aspects of disease management

    Apple powdery mildew (Podoshphaera leucorticha) occurs wherever apples are grown. One of the most important fungal disease of apple which causing severe econimic loss on susceptible apple cultivars. This review focuses on the control of apple powdery mildew. The first part of the study provides details of novel aspects of non-chemical control approaches, including agronomic measures, mechanical and biological control options as well as essential features of apple cultivar resistance. After this, developments in chemical control options are described sperately for integrated and organic apple orchards.