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  • 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.

  • Alternate bearing of 'Golden Reinders' and 'Summered' apples

    The aim of the present study was to study the effect of biennial bearing (irregular yields) on the generative production of apple cultivars 'Golden Reinders' and 'Summerred' on M.9 rootstock. The observations were made at Nagykutas in West-Hungary for four years. The authors have studied the flowering time, flower density, fruit density, fruit drop, seed content, yielding and fruit quality in the on-year and off-year. Based on the results, it can be stated that the alternation does not cause a significant change in the flowering time of cvs. 'Golden Reinders' and `Summerred': the difference between the flowering time of trees in the on-year and off-year period was 0-1 day. However, there were significant differences in the flower density. 'Golden Reinders' proved to have a weaker tendency to alternation similarly to the statements of the literature. Alternation (off-year) was observed only in three years from the studied four years. While in the case of `Summerred', strong alternation was observed in all four years. In fruit density, there were differences among the cultivars and among the different cycles of biennial bearing. Fruit density (and its opposite, fruit drop) changed inconsistently in the period between flowering and harvest. In the case of 'Golden Reinders' and 'Summerred' 2 and 4 fruit drop periods were detected, respectively. In the off-year, the different periods were less distinct, in most cases they were overlapping each other. The dynamics of fruit drop was related to seed content per fruit. The lower the seed number was, the higher the degree of fruit drop was. In both the high- and off-year cycles, the number of seeds in fruits on the tree and on the ground increased with time. In the yield parameters (fruit number, fruit load, yield efficiency), the differences were greater among the yields of trees in the high- and off-year cycles for 'Summerred'. The fruit quality parameters were greatly influenced by the fruit load of the trees in the different alternation cycles. In general, it can be stated that fruit mass, diameter and height were lower on trees in the on-year. A similar trend could be observed in flesh firmness, cover colour and dry matter content, but the differences were smaller. 'Summerred' was more sensitive to the differences in fruit load.

  • Effect of three storage methods on fruit decay and brown rot of apple

    The aim of our two-year study was to evaluate fruit decay and Monilinia fruit rot in three controlled atmospheres (CA), ultra-low oxygen (ULO) and traditional storage methods on apples for a duration of several months storage period. Four phytopathological treatments were studied under each storage condition: 1) 48 healthy fruit per unit, 2) 48 injured fruit per unit, 3) 47 healthy fruit and 1 brown rotted fruit per unit, and 4) 47 injured fruit and 1 brown rotted fruit per unit. Our results clearly demonstrated that fruit loss during storage is highly influenced by storage conditions and health status of the stored fruits. In the 2005 experiment, the lowest and largest fruit decay occurred under the ULO and traditional storage conditions, respectively (Table 1). The fruit decay was significantly different for the different storage methods. Fruit decay was fully suppressed in ULO storage except in the treatments of injured and injured + 1 brown rotted apple. Under CA and traditional storage conditions, when healthy fruit was stored, fruit decay was significantly lower compared with injured fruit including 1 brown rotted fruits. However, half of the fruit decay was caused by M. fructigena in CA store irrespective to phytopathogenic treatments. In 2006, results were not so consistent on cv. Idared but were not essentially different from the 2005 experiments.

  • Specialities of the vegetation start and level of primary fruit set affect fruit quality

    Thinning is a h ighly crucial point of the apple production technology. According to results of numerous studies the earliest thinning is deemed to have the best amending effects. There can be considerable difference between trees of the same cul tivar and age in a plantation in respect to their flowering, in the numbers of fruits set and also in their canopy volume. Thus it can be crucial -just l ike in the case of pruning- to establish a fruit thinni ng su i ted for specif ic characteristics of actual trees. This experiment was established to examine how does primary fruit set (fruit load before thinning) and further on specific (fruit/TCS cm2) and absolute (fruit/tree) fruit-load of the trees affect quality attri butes at harvest. Our experiment was establ ished in a plantation on medium-tight loamy soil in north-east of Hungary. Harvest date was determined w ith the joint observation of the calendar date, starch-index, flesh firmness, background colour and fruit weight. Three fruit-load levels were established based on local experience and on data of several years, I Ot/ha lower and higher besides the advised optimum yield in the same orchard with slender-spindle shaped 'Gala must' cultivar standing on M9 rootstock in 1m x 3,8 m spacing. In the establishment of the 15, 25 and 35t/ha fruit-load levels on 20-20 apple trees total number of fruits set was counted at each tree. After this number of apples due to be removed was defined using an objective index on the basis of trunk cross sections (fruit/TCScm2) (Lafer, 1999). The following attributes were measured: weight (g), flesh firmness (lb/cm2) total soluble solid content (Brix %) and total titrate-able acid content (g/J).From the data on sugar and acid content quality index (Pomona value) was determined (Thialult, 1970). We could ascertain, that in an orchard, of the same aged but in concern to trunk cross sections somewhat different trees besides the specific index (apple/TCS cm2 the absolute fruit load (fruit/tree) can also be an important data, that has considerable effect on the internal quality. Secondly we could observe, that higher level of fruit load before thinning (primary fruit set) negatively affects quality index of the apples irrespective of the specific fruit load level (fruit/cm2 TCS) set later. Results underlines necessity of the earliest chemical thinn ing.

  • Consumer buying behaviour of fruit and vegetables in the Netherlands

    The Dutch Households bought in 2010 compared with the year before a little less vegetables and less fruit. However because of a higher price level the supermarket sales of fruits and vegetables increased with 7% to almost €3 billion. A Dutch household bought 72.4 kilo fresh vegetables in 2010. This is 2% less than in 2009. Tomatoes are the most bought vegetable followed by onion and cucumber. Although the Dutch households bought less vegetables, the spending increased with 5%. The average price of vegetables was 7% higher than in 2009. In 2010 a Dutch household bought almost 88 kilo fresh fruit. Compared with 2009 this was 2% less. Apple is far out the most popular, followed by orange and banana. Also the spending on fruit decreased a little, specially on strawberry, kiwi and banana. The sales of vegetables is realized for almost 90% by the supermarket channel. Albert Heijn has a market share of 38%, followed by Superunie and C1000. Also for fruit the supermarket is the most important retail channel. However fruit is also sold for 20% in grocery stores and markets. The total turnover from supermarkets of vegetables was in 2010 over €2 billion, 8% more than in 2009. 85% of this is fresh product (fresh and pre-treated). Canned vegetables become less popular. The turnover was decreasing 2% to just under €200 million. Green beans are the most popular, followed by peas and carrots. However more money was spend on frozen vegetables (+5%) and pickles (+1%). Over 40% of the supermarket turnover of frozen vegetables is spend on spinach. The supermarket turnover of fruit increased in 2010 with 3% to €1,25 billion. From this 93% is fresh unprocessed fruit. The turnover of pre-treated (washed and sliced) is increasing, but still not more than 3%. Although with a modest share, the spending on frozen fruit also increased in 2010 to €5,5 million. The turnover of canned fruit however was decreasing with 6% compared with 2009. The supermarket turnover of pre-treated fruit was €35 million. Albert Heijn is the absolute market leader for pretreated fruit. In 2010 70% of the sales was realized by Albert Heijn. Mixed fresh pre-treated fruit, mainly fruit salads, account for 40% of the total supermarket turnover of processed fruit. Canned pineapple is the most important canned fruit in supermarkets, followed by fruit cocktail and peach. There is a high degree of awareness of consumers regarding the “must” to use enough fruit and vegetables. Despite of this, consumers do not always eat enough healthy products. Reasons for this are the busy life of the modern young people and the perception that vegetables are “not easy” to use. Therefore preparing a meal has to be easy and fast with suitable products Here is an important task for concept and product development.

  • Characterization of sunburn damage to apple fruits and leaves

    The specific conditions of the formation of three different types of sunburn (sunburn browning, sunburn necrosis, and photooxidative sunburn) have been recently characterized on apple fruit. However, no information is still available on leaf damage. Therefore, the aims of this study were i) to extend the knowledge on fruit damage, ii) characterize leaf damage and iii) find relationship between fruit and leaf damage. The observations were made on 586 apple accessions in a gene bank orchard located in Hungary. The incidence of the three different types of fruit symptoms were recorded and based on the visual symptoms, two different types of leaf sunburn (sunburn yellowing and sunburn necrosis) were characterized. The most frequent type of fruit sunburn observed was sunburn browning. Photooxidative sunburn was found for less number of accessions, and only some accessions were affected by sunburn necrosis. Fruit were far more susceptible than leaves; (>60%) of the examined accessions were affected by fruit damage and (<3%) by leaf damage. Although a large number of accessions were affected, the percentage of fruit damaged within accessions was not that excessive; ~6% of the fruit assessed showed the symptoms of sunburn browning. Significantly fewer fruit were damaged by sunburn necrosis (~1%) or photooxidative sunburn (~1.4%) than sunburn browning. The percentage of leaves damaged within accessions were simlarly very low (~1%). Close relationship between fruit and leaf damage was found. Accesions with relatively heavily sunburned leaves usually had severe fruit damage as well. Leaves showing sunburn symptoms were usually closely located around those fruit which were sunburned severely. Leaf damage of sunburn was found on spur leaves in a great majority of the accessions damaged, shoot leaves did not seem to be susceptible to sunburn.

  • 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.

  • Role of organosilicone surfactant in apple scab control under scab conducive weather conditions

    Fungicides of integrated fruit production (dithianon, captan, and diclofluanid) and an organosilicone surfactant were compared in spray schedules from green tip until summer in order to control apple scab caused by Venturia inaequalis and to evaluate their phytotoxicity on fruit. Sixteen sprays of 1.8 kg ha-1captan, 0.41 ha-1 dithianon, and 1.8 kg ha-1 diclolfluanid significantly (P=0.05) reduced the incidence of leaf or fruit scab compared to unsprayed products. All fungicides applied with organosilicone at 0.1% resulted in lower incidence of scab on young and older leaves as well as on harvested fruit, but these were not statistically always better than fungicides applied alone. In case of diclofluanid, the fungicide applied with organosilicone at 0.1% resulted in significantly lower (P = 0.001) incidence of scab on young and older leaves. Diclofluanid applied with organosilicone at 0.1% gave the best scab control on leaf and fruit. Treatments applied with fungicides alone had no significant effect on plant phytotoxicity compared to untreated control. All fungicides applied with organosilicone at 0.1% increased (P = 0.05) fruit damage compared to untreated control or fungicide applied alone, though these were not always significantly different. In case of percentage of fruit russet, treatment of dithianon 0.4 1/ha + 0.1% organosilicone significantly increased fruit russet, while fruit russet index significantly increased in the treatment of diclofluanid 1.8 kg/ha + 0.1% organosilicone compared to untreated control. In sum, application of surfactants can help to increase efficacy of scab fungicides; and consequently, to reduce the risk of fungus infection under high scab disease pressure. This fact may also be helpful in fungicide resistance management and reduced-spray programs with accurate scab warning systems.

  • The effect of spring frosts on the nectar production and the bee visitation of fruit trees

    Fruit tree species suffered very strong spring frosts in 1997 in Hungary. This caused partial or total damages at buds and flowers depending on site and time of blooming. It was demonstrated at a number of experiments that frost and cold weather also strongly affected the nectar production of surviving flowers. No or very little amount of nectar was measured in flowers first of all of early blooming fruit tree species (apricot) but also of pear and apple in some places. In spite of this fact intensive honeybee visitation was detected in the flowers of fruit trees that suffered partial frost damage only at those sites where honeybee colonies were placed in or at the experimental plantations and the lack of sufficient amount of nectar did not affected bee behaviour seriously on fruit flowers. This means that bad nectar production failed to affect bee visitation of fruit trees definitely. The reason for this was the fact that not only fruit trees but another early bee plants (wild plants, too) suffered frost damage. Accordingly, in lack of forage bees intensively searched for food at blooming fruit trees with some living flowers. Consequently, there was an acceptable yield at those plantations where bud and flower damage was not complete. Accordingly, intensive bee visitation (that is moving additional bee colonies to overpopulate fruit orchards with honeybees) can be an effective tool to decrease or eliminate the detrimental effect of spring frost on the yield of fruit trees where bud or fruit damage is not too high.


  • Fruit production and research in Hungary - An overview

    Hungary is traditionally a food producer country. 63% of its total land area can be cultivated. Horticulture is one of the fundamental agricultural branches. The country has a moderate continental climate, with a mean temperature of 10 °C. The average hours of sunshine ranges 1,700 to 2,100 hours. Under the geographical condition in the Carpathian Basin the chemical composition of the fruits has a good harmony. The total fruit acreage is 97,000 ha with a crop of 800,000 to 900,000 tons yearly. In 1982 1,934,000 tons of fruit crop were produced since then it has decreased. The most important fruits are apple, European plum, sour cherry and raspberry. The percentage of apple reaches almost up to 60%. In the new plantings sour cherry, apple and black elderberry is popular. The most important fruit-producing region is situated at the North-eastern part of the country. More than 40% of Hungary's fruit production is concentrated there. In ranking the 2nd place is taken by fruit growing area in the middle of Hungary, where the production of stone fruits and small fruits has a considerable proportion.

    In the 70s and 80s of last century there was a developed research structure and wide range of research activity in Hungary. From that time the research capacity has considerably decreased first of all in the field of technological development. The main research area is fruit breeding and variety evaluation.

    Fruit scientists and fruit grower specialists are held together by the Hungarian. Society for Horticultural Sciences which has a membership in ISHS. Fruit researches and scientists having academic degree are belonged to the Horticultural Board of Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

  • Water relations of apple and influence on fruit quality (minireview)

    The saving of soil water content and the improvement of adaptability of plants to periodical insufficient water and use of deficit irrigation technology become more important because of the occurrence of frequently dry periods. The water use efficiency of apples can be increased by the choice of appropriate rootstocks and determination of water requirement of varieties that depend on their growing periods and climatic factors. Depletion of soil water resources need to develop efficient irrigation techniques for quality apple production. A new deficit irrigation strategy (PRD) has been developed that based on partial water supply of root-zone. This does not result a decrease in the sizes and yield of the fruit. The larger fruit size and lower firmness in frequently irrigated trees can result in excessive internal growth stresses that cause higher rate of fruit splitting. Many studies revealed the relationship between irrigation and yield quantity. Recent researches investigate the effects of irrigation on apple fruit quality particularly on the colouration and post-harvest quality. Use of cooling irrigation improves the development of coluour an apple fruit but its schedule can influence on the incomes. Aroma volatiles are responsible for odour and contribute to overall flavour of the fruit and its processed products. Deficit irrigation had only affects some volatile aroma but no the all of concentrations in apple fruit. In the future the high apple quality for consumers could be provided with improvement of transpiration-yield model based on the water requirement of varieties and economic irrigation schedules.

  • Sunburn incidence of apples is affected by rootstocks and fruit position within the canopy but not by fruit position on the cluster

    Authors investigated sunburn incidence of apples on the combinations of three different growth inducing rootstocks (M.9,MM.106 and seedling) and five varieties (‘Smoothee’, ‘Golden Reinders’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Gloster’ and ‘Jonagold Jonica’). Symptoms were classified as sunburn browning, sunburn necrosis and photooxidative sunburn. The frequency of symptoms was recorded at various parts of the canopy (N, E,W, S, and lower canopy, upper canopy) and on the cluster (terminal, lateral). Cultivar susceptibility varied between 0.30 and 5.65% on M.9 rootstock, ‘Granny Smith’ seemed to be the most susceptible cultivar whereas relatively low percentage of damaged fruit was observed for ‘Gloster’. On MM.106 and seedling rootstocks, damage level was significantly lower than on M.9. Remarkable differences were not observed in the share of the three sunburn types between cultivars. The most common symptom observed was sunburn browning. Far less fruit was affected by sunburn necrosis and photooxidative sunburn. Photooxidative sunburn symptoms were not found on ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Gloster’ fruits on MM.106 rootstock. Latter cultivar did not show sunburn necrosis symptoms either. With increasing growing vigor of the rootstocks the share of sunburn browning increased. Fruits with sunburn symptoms were found in a great majority on theW quadrant of the trees. This was true for all cultivars. Remarkable differences in the location within the canopy of affected fruits between the three types of sunburn were not observed. Specific distribution of sunburned fruit was observed along the vertical axis of the canopy, too. Most of the damaged fruit were found in the upper canopy. This is particularly true for trees on vigorous stocks such as MM.106 and seedling. On M.9 rootstock, depending on cultivars 5.9 to 38.9% of sunburned fruit was located in the lower canopy. Most common symptom in the lower canopy was the sunburn browning, however symptoms of sunburn necrosis were not found at lower canopy level. Low rate of photooxidative sunburn was observed such lower canopy conditions. Sunburn incidence was very similar on king or side fruit. Significant differences were not found in the share of each sunburn types between fruit positions on the cluster. This was not influenced by rootstocks either.

  • Effect of postharvest sodium benzoate treatment on some fruit parameters of two organic apple cultivars

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of postharvest sodium-benzoate treatment on some fruit parameters of two organic apple cultivars (’Topaz’ and ’Florina’). Assessments were made at three times during storage: 17 November 2019, 20 December 2019 and 23 January, 2020. During every assessment dates, each fruit was observed separately, and determined the proportion of i) healthy fruits (%), ii) post-harvest fruit rot diseases iii) fruits with mechanical injury (%), iv) fruit with russetting (%), v) damage of codling moth and vi) Ca-deficiency symptoms. In addition, fruit weight (g) was measured at each assessment date. Sodium benzoate reduced the fruit decay and the proportion of healthy fruit was higher in this treatment compared to water treated fruit. This effect could be seen in all assessment dates and on both cultivars. Effects on other parameters were various according to cultivar and assessment dates. Loss of fruit weight was similar in both treatments and cultivars compared to control treatment.

  • Effect of intensity of bee visitation and the foraging behaviour of honeybees on the fruit set and yield of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.)

    Based on the results of our experiments, both the relative and the effective intensity of bee visitation were rather different depending on the cultivars as well as the time of the day. While it varied between relatively extreme values (40-80%) in the morning for the varieties examined, there were much smaller differences between the intensity of bee visitation at the afternoon, because the relative bee visitation attained 70-90% at each cultivar. These results showed that the differences arising from intensity of bee visitation of different cultivars should be taken into consideration more carefully in the morning in orchard planning and in estimating the number of honeybee colonies required.

    The results showed that the greatest percentage of fruit set and the highest number of viable seeds per fruit were measured on branches of those cultivars that were most frequently visited by pure pollen gatherer bees as well as by bees collecting both nectar and pollen (mixed behaviour). The effect of pure pollen gatherers and of bees with mixed behaviour was highly significant from the statistical point of view on the fruit set and the number of viable seeds per fruit.

    Those bees that were sucking nectar only from apple flowers did not proved to be effective pollinators at all. Relationship between their number and the fruit set as well as the number of viable seed per fruit were not significant because the coefficient of correlation was close to nil.

    The ratio of side worker nectar gatherers was negatively correlated with the fruit set and the seed content of fruits of apple cultivars examined at both of our experimental sites, at Mosonmagyaróvár and Feketeerdő as well. The presence of side worker nectar gatherers resulted in higher decrease of fruit set and seed content of fruits at Feketeerd6 than at Mosonmagyaróvár, especially in the morning.

    The effect of flower visiting intensity by other pollinating insects was found to be fairly variable according to the time of the day. In the morning they had no effect on the fruit set as well as on the seed content of fruits either at Mosonmagyaróvár or at Feketeerdo. However, at the afternoon, when their intensity was greater, the correlation was a bit stronger.

  • 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.

  • First selections of the Hungarian apple breeding program for multiple resistance

    The aim of the first Hungarian apple breeding program for multiple resistance started in the beginning of the nineties is to widen Hungarian apple assortment by good quality, resistant apple cultivars with excellent productivity and ecological capability to the most important fruit growing areas in Hungary. In the first years of seedling production we made early selection for susceptibility to apple scab in greenhouse. Alter this, field observation of susceptibility to powdery mildew, scab and canker and a yearly negative selection was carried on. From 1997, fruit quality was evaluated as well, and from 2001 the resistance of shoots to Erwinia ainylovora (Burrill/Winslow et al.) was examined using inoculations in greenhouse conditions. From the progenies of crosses in 1992 and 1993, six candidates were announced to national recognition out of hybrids examined for more than a decade. Descriptions of these selections from 'Prima' progenies and the most important data of their resistance, growing habit, morphological characteristics and fruit quality are shown in this article.

  • 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.

  • Effect of reduced spray programmes on incidences of apple scab, powdery mildew and codling moth damage in environmentally freindly apple production systems

    Still a large amount of pesticides and spary applications are used in environmentally friendly fruit production systems; therefore, the aim of our study was first to test the in vitro effeicacy of some fungicides against a key apple disease (apple scab), and secondly to evaulate the effectiveness of reduced spray programmes against apple scab, powdery mildew and coding moth in integrated and organic apple orchards. In vitro efficacy of 7 fungicides (Champion 50 WP, Kocide 2000, Nordox 75 WG, Olajos rézkén, Kumulus S, Rézkén, Rézoxiklorid) and another 6 fungicides (Score 25 EC, Efuzin 500 SC, Systane, Folicur Solo, Zato Plusz, Rovral) approved in organic and integrated production systems, respectively, were tested against apple scab. Altogether four spray programmes were performed i) standard integrated: sprays followed by forecasting systems during the season, ii) reduced integrated: sprays followed by forecasting systems but only 75% of the spray numbers used during the season-long spray programme, iii) standard oragnic: sprays applied every 7–14 days during the season and iv) reduced organic: 60% of the spray numbers used during the season-long spray programme. In vitro results showed that fungicides (with active ingredients of copper and sulphur) applied in organic production showed relatively high percent growth capacity of the apple scab fungus. Rézkén showed the highest and Kumilus S the lowest efficacy against apple scab. Fungicides applied in integrated production showed relatively low percent growth capacity of the apple scab fungus. Score 25 EC showed the highest and Rovral the lowest efficacy against apple scab. Field study showed that reduced spray programmes did not increase significantly scab incidence in the integrated field. However, scab incidence increased significanly (above 30%) in the reduced spray programme for the organic orchard.Mildew incidence was low (below 5%) in both integrated and organic spray programmes. Mildew incidence on both shoots and fruits increased significanly in the reduced spray programme for the organic orchard. Incidence of codling moth damage was affected the most by standard vs. reduced spray programmes. Though incidence remained below 10% in the integrated plots, the incidence was significantly higher in the reduced spray programme compared to the standard programme. Similar results were obtained for organic spary programmes, but the incidence was 10 times higher and the differences among the two programmes were larger.,

  • 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.

  • Sunburn assessment: A critical appraisal of methods and techniques for characterizing the damage to apple fruit

    Many methods and techniques have been introduced for measuring alterations in the fruit and in its surrounding environment related to sunburn incidence. The research objectives, fruit materials and the environment to be evaluated dictate the methods to follow. These procedures are either non-destructive and involve techniques that allow us to track the course of sunburn development and related environmental parameters, or destructive and involve the removal of fruit from the tree for field/laboratory measurements. Techniques employed can be used for pre-symptomatic monitoring (before symptoms become visible) or characterizing the symptoms already present. The principles behind the measurements and their usefulness for sunburn assessments are discussed and critically evaluated in this review paper. Descriptions and evaluations of the methods and techniques were made in the following groups: 1. Thermal measurements; 2. Visual assessments; 3. Fruit quality measurements; 4. Measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations; and 5. Practical evaluation of sunburn damage. Thermal measurements involve methods tracking the ambient temperature and fruit surface temperature, and their relation to sunburn formation. Visual assessments cover all measuring techniques (skin color, chlorophyll fluorescence, radiation reflection, electron microscopy) that are able to detect changes on/in the fruit skin related to sunburn formation. Fruit quality measurements are used to point out differences in qualities (soluble solids, firmness, titratable acidity, and water content) between unaffected and sunburned areas of the fruit. The measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations (gas exchange, pigment analysis, enzyme activity, gene expression) give us a better insight to the mechanism of sunburn formation. Practical evaluations involve many procedures that are used by scientists to characterize the susceptibility of cultivars, evaluate protection technology, etc. For this purpose, the following methods are in use: expressing the percentage of the total fruit surface area affected by sunburn or the percentage of the total number of fruits damaged on the tree, or even a scale based on the severity of the symptoms occurred. All assessing methods and techniques described here have their pros and cons as well as their specific applicability, therefore any of these cannot be favored to use exclusively for assessing sunburn incidence. The combination of these techniques will be the best choice to meet a given research objective perfectly.

  • Flower visiting activity of honeybees on fruit species blooming subsequently

    In the small demonstration orchard of the College Faculty of Horticulture at Kecskemét the blooming time, the flower density and the honeybee activity was observed at a number of cultivars of 20 flower species during four consecutive years.

    Fruit crop species were in flower during 3-4 months altogether. The blooming period of them was classified into five groups as early (almond, apricot, gooseberry), middle early (sweet cherry, red currant, currant-gooseberry, black currant, white currant, peach, plum, sour cherry), middle late (pear, strawberry, apple), late (black elder, quince, medlar, raspberry, blackberry-raspberry) and very late blooming period (blackberry). The blooming period of the members of the groups of early and medium early blooming often coincided partly and the same happened between the medium and the medium late as well as between fruits of late and very late flowering.

    The flower density of some fruit species is extremely variable (currant-gooseberry, medlar), while at others it is fairly stable and evenly dense in consecutive years (sour cherry, sweet cherry, strawberry). At other fruit species it is moderately changeable. Some fruit species tended to attract more honeybees than others (plum, apple, quince, medlar) and some of them tended to attract much less (black elder, pear) but most species can be regarded as of medium attractivity.

    On the flowers of some fruit species (pear, strawberry, quince) honeybees gathered pollen predominantly. At most fruit species however pollen and nectar gathering behaviour seemed to be gradually changing during the season. Namely most honeybees tended to gather pollen at the flowers of the early blooming fruit species, but on the other hand typical foraging behaviour gradually shifted to nectar gathering at the flowers of fruit species of moderate and late blooming periods.


  • 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.

  • Effect of a nanotechnology-based foliar fertilizer on the yield and fruit quality in an apple orchard

    Nutrient management is a determining element of the technology in fruit production. Significance of foliar fertilization has been increased continuously over the last years, as it can improve directly the vegetative and generative performance of the trees. In this study we aimed to evaluate the effect of a nanotechnology-based foliar fertilizer (Bistep) with 1, 3, and 5 l/ha dosages on the yield and fruit quality parameters in an apple orchard during 2016 and 2018. According to our results, crop load increased with 29% in the third year of the experiment with the application of 5 l/ha Bistep treatment compared to the control treatments. Fruit weight was also improved in each year, as values of fruit weight in all treatments were higher than the control one (3.0-13.0% growth). Fruit surface color increased with 2-18% due to the foliar fertilizer. During the three years, leaf length was 9.5-9.9 mm on the control trees, as 9.8-10.4 mm was measured on the fertilized ones. In conclusion, yield and fruit quality can be improved in apple orchard using a nanotechnology-based foliar fertilizer.

  • 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.

  • 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.