One of our objectives in the apple breeding program of the Department of Fruit Science, beside creating new varieties, is to search for new gene sources. After evaluating the disease resistance of Malus taxa available in Hungary, we put the promising selected individuals through further examinations. Their habit and growth vigor was ob...served, as well as productivity and fruit characteristics were evaluated. Malus fusca seems to be a new, promising gene source in Hungary among the examined taxa. Beside its optimal canopy, growth vigor and fruit characteristics, it has the advantage to be in distant relationship to Malus x domestica, therefore its resistance is based on a different genetic basis. SBG 1 selection of Malus spectabilis can be recommended as a new gene source for resistance breeding. The range of gene sources can further be widened by selected clones of Malus floriblunda (BA I), Malus x zumi (BA) and Malus baccata (SBG 6). An additional value of Malus taxa chosen by us is that they show resistance not only to apple scab, but to powdery mildew as well, and according to our results, they have optimal habit, acceptable productivity and good fruit quality. Nine hybrids were selected from first Malus progenies which proved to be resistant to apple scab and powdery mildew. These are valuable not only as gene sources of breeding, but as pollenizers or ornamental trees, while their decorative fruits can be used in inside decorations and flower arrangements.
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-spe...cific 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.