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  • Reproductive biology of Duranta repens L. (Verbenaceae) in relation to its environment

    Impact of environmental changes (temperature and RH) on reproductive biology in Duranta repens (Verbenaceae) growing at ten different sites of Agra was studied. It flowers throughout the year, with optimum flowering in September. The flowers are arranged in loose clusters on terminal or axillary racemes. They are either blue or lavender in colour, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic and complete. The plants exhibit floral polymorphism (increase and decrease in number of petals and stamens) and considerable variation in extent of pollen fertility, floral density, insect pollinators and fruit-set percentage. The changes in temperature and relative humidity during the entire flowering period, was found associated with the variation in floral structure, pollen fertility and fruit-set percentage. Based on the percentage of fruit-set during different seasons of a year, there were three distinct periods, namely maximum, moderate and minimum periods. The present paper deals with the comparative view of reproductive biology of this ornamental plant in these periods. During the months of August—November when temperature ranges between 13.7-36.6 °C and RH between 79-89% the plant exhibits maximum fruit-set percentage (68-85%). This was associated with maximum flowering, increase in floral size, and increase in visitation rates of pollinators and higher degree of pollen fertility. On the other hand, with temperature reaching to the maximum (15.1-41.5 °C) and reduction in RH (14.1-41.3%), the percentage of fruit-set was reduced to the minimum (21-30%). During this period, number of flowers/plant, floral size, pollen fertility, visitation rates of pollinators were reduced to the minimum. During this period floral polymorphism was also 'recorded.

  • Floral biology of hazelnut (Review article)

    Floral biology of hazelnut (Review article)

  • Pál Maliga, founder of the research in floral biology of fruit species in Hungary

    Pál Maliga founded the Hungarian research in floral biology of fruit species during his more than forty-year-long carrier. Almost all pome and stone fruit species have been covered by his activities, but he also dealt with the fertility of walnut and chestnut. Regularities have been revealed and the methodical studies opened the way to approach and elaborate alternatives for the association of varieties in planning high yielding commercial plantations. In his breeding activity the choice of crossing parental varieties was based on the knowledge in fertility relations. The obtained sour cherry varieties represent the world-wide maximum quality, reliability and security of yields. Hungarian renewed sour cherry cultivation owes its fame and prosperity to those varieties, nevertheless also to the radical knowledge of the biological bases of fertility.

  • Floral biology of tree fruit rootstocks

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

  • Floral biological studies on pear cultivars in relation to fire blight susceptibility

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

  • Floral biology of medicinal plants II. Lamiaceae species

    Several species in the Lamiaceae family are therapeutically significant medicinal plants. Such as sage (Salvia officinalis L.), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), peppermint (Moldier piperita L.). marjoram (Majomna hortensis Winch), thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), Origanum spp., hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis L.), Lavandula spp., basil (Ocimum basalicum L.), lemon-balm (Melissa officinalis L.) are regularly produced in Hungary. Nevertheless, data on their floral biology are not satisfactory. This review intends to gather information on the characteristic constitution of flowers and inflorescences, blooming dynamics, pollination mechanism and crossability of some of the most significant medicinal and spice species

    Flowers are mainly hermaphrodite, however, also monoeceous ones are turning up: pistillate flowers marjoram, tyme, oregano. In flowering of a plant individual, a basipetal blooming sequence is described. These species have a floral structure fully adapted to pollination by insects, and the majority of them is an excellent honey-plant (lavandel, hyssop, sage, etc.).

    Flowers exhibit characteristic proterandry, therefore autogamy is considered to be almost impossible, and geintonogamy as well as xenogamy to be the most characteristic ways of fertilization. However, in several cases self-fertilization proved to be also successful. Crossability among cultivars or species is depending on the genotype combination and usually produces less seed than the above forms of fertilization.


  • Floral biological investigations of apple cultivars in relation to fire blight

    Floral activity was studied in two apple cultivars: an Erwinia-tolerant (Treedorn') and a sensitive one (`Sampion'). Since more types of protogyny occur in apples, the period of stigma activity is different. Papillae of the exposed stigma in flowers of 'Freedom' function longer (usually more than a week) than in the delayed homogamous `Sampion'. Despite of this, cv. 'Freedom' is tolerant to Erwinia amylovora (Burr.) Winslow et al., suggesting no relationship between the floral biological type (including the exposure and longevity of stigma) and the infection by E. amylovora. According to SEM micrographs, nectary stomata in `Freedom' are already open in the flower bud, where nectar secretion starts and continues until the senescence of the stigma. However, the long period of nectar secretion does not create optimal conditions for bacterial growth, since nectar production is scant in the flowers of 'Freedom'. The surface of the nectary, its nectar-retaining capacity, and the amount and concentration of nectar may influence the susceptibility of apple cultivars. It is manifested well by the smooth nectary surface with nectary stomata rising slightly above the epidermis in flowers of cv. 'Freedom', contrasting the wrinkled, striate nectary surface with slightly sunken stomata in the flowers of 'Sampion'.

  • Sugar composition of floral nectar in sour cherry cultivars

    The composition of floral nectar in sour cherry cultivars studied in 1997 at Újfehértó was in agreement with our previous data, the three most frequent sugar components being glucose, fructose and sucrose. Nectar secreted at night is generally more diluted than nectar produced during the day. None of the nectar samples produced at night reached the threshold value (100 mg/ml) of bee visitation. In the majority of cultivars the difference in concentration between night and day nectar is not too high, but in two cultivars, 'Korai pipacs' and ‘Újfehértói fürtös’ the difference is quite significant. Most sucrose was found in the nectar of cvs. 'Érdi jubileum' and ‘Újfehértói fürtös’, but a high amount of sucrose was measured also in the flowers of 'Korai pipacs' and 'Meteor USA'. Nectar concentration varies from opening of the flower to petal fall to a smaller or greater degree, depending on the given cultivar. From the 9 sour cherry cultivars studied ‘Újfehértói fürtös’ and Tandy 48' had the most attractive nectar for bees. There was no correlation between nectar composition and free fertilisation. On the basis of nectar composition the majority of the sour cherry cultivars studied can be classified into the sucrose-rich category; only one cultivar, 'Érdi jubileum' had a sucrose-dominant secretory product. The composition of nectar in the studied sour cherry cultivars is preferred by bees.


  • Floral biology of plum (Review article)

    Floral biology of plum (Review article)

  • Floral biology and fertility in peaches (Review article)

    Floral biology and fertility in peaches (Review article)

  • Floral biology and fertility of apricot

    Floral biology and fertility of apricot

  • Floral biology of medicinal plants I. Apiaceae species

    The Apiaceae family consists of several species which are well known for their therapeutical use and also as spice plants. Although fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), caraway (Carton carvi L.), anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), dill (Anethum graveolens L.), angelica (Angelica archangelica L.) and lovage (Levisticum officinale Koch.) are also economically considerable cultures, data on their flowering biology are rather scarce. This review supports data on the characteristic constitution of flowers and inflorescences, flowering dynamics, pollination mechanism and crossability of some of the most significant medicinal and spice species.

    The inflorescence is a compound umbel. Flowers are hermaphrodite, however also monoeceous, mainly male flowers are turning up too. In blooming of a plant individual, a strict sequence is observed. The main umbel is the first to bloom, followed by the different range umbels in order of their range. In their pollination, both wind and insects are considered to be active. For each species, proterandry is characteristic. Although autogamy is considered to be almost unpossible, and geintonogamy as well as xenogamy to be the most characteristic ways of fertilization, several cases of self-fertilization proved to be also successful. Crossability among cultivars or species is depending on the genotype combination and usually produces less seed set than the above forms of fertiliiation.

  • Bee pollination and association of apricot varieties

    Apricot yields are highly variable according to the season. The variation is caused mainly by the adversities during the critical processes of floral biology, i.e. blooming and fertilisation. On the basis of information concerning blooming time and mutual compatibility relations of apricot varieties a system of securing regular and adequate yields has been developed.

    Winter frosts of the continental type are well tolerated by most of the apricots, however, after the end of rest period, flower buds are loosing frost tolerance, 'rapidly.

    Being one of the fruit species blooming earliest during the early spring, apricot start to bloom in Hungary around the end of March or early April as a mean of many years, but it also happened, exceptionally that apricot started to bloom at February 20 (at Letenye South Hungary). The early season, exposes the floral organs to frost injuries. As a consequence, apricot orchards on the Great Plain produce low yields in 3 years, intermediate yields in other 3 years out of a ten-year-period.

    Moreover, weather conditions during the blooming period are often unfavourable for pollination. Cool, windy and rainy weather prevents the flight of insects and on the other hand, warm spells shorten the blooming process, nectarines and stigmata get dry and the female gametes loose viability before effective pollination occurres.

    The fertility of individual cultivars are meeting different obstacles. Apricot cultivars differ greatly in the rate of flowers bearing underdeveloped pistils, which may attain even 60% (e.g. Orangered). New commercial cultivars are often self-incompatible. Local varieties of that type in Hungary are the „óriás" varieties (e.g. Ceglédi óriás, Szegedi mammut), and the new hybrid Ceglédi Piroska. Many of the cultivars are variable in their self-fertility (partially self-fertile): Budapest, Harmat, Korai piros, Mandulakajszi.

    Inter-incompatibility is also known in apricots. The „óriás " varieties do not fertilise each other. During the growth of fruits, cool spells (2-4 °C) caused severe fruit shed in Ceglédi óriás.

    Apricot flowers produce pollen and nectar at average rates related to other fruit species, thus bees are attracted sufficiently. Bee visits are very variable according to growing site and season. Most of the bees are pollen gatherers but sometimes nectar suckers are in majority. Bee pollination is necessary not only for the self-incompatible varieties but also to enhance the yield of self-fertile varieties.

    Taking the blooming and fertility relations of the cultivars into account, plantations should not exceed two rows to a particular self-incompatible varieties, and possibly two different polliniser varieties are suggested to be planted as flanking the block in question.

    In commercial plantations 2 to 4 bee colonies per hectare are proposed to move for the whole blooming period.


  • Abnormalities of the stigma of sour cherry cultivar

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the ratio of blackness of the surface of stigma of sour cherry cultivars. At the full bloom time of sour cherry 100 new opened flowers were marked in the internal (Inside), external (outside), bottom and upper parts of the crown of each cultivars including sour cherry cultivars ‘Érdi bőtermő', `Debreceni bőtermő', `Kántorjánosi', 'R. clone', 'Petri', Pándy', and 'D. clone'. The trees were replicated four times. The numbers of flowers with black stigma were counted and the percentage of dead stigma was calculated. In addition, tissues of black stigmata were investigated for blossom pathogens by microscopy. After flowering time the fruit set of the marked flowers counted and then percentage fruit set was calculated. Numbers of counted flowers were between 300 and 980 depending on the four position of the tree. Black color of stigma could be seen only on three cultivars (`Debreceni bőtermő', Érdi bőtermő' and 'Petri') out of seven assessed cultivars. The highest numbers of black colored stigma were found on cultivar ‘Érdi bőtermő' which ranged between incidences of 12 and 21%. Black stigma was never able to produce a fruit set. Microscopic examination revealed no pathogens associated with black stigma. Different part of the tree resulted different amount of black stigma. Black stigma was the largest on the outer part of the tree on cv. 'Érdi bőtermő' but also bottom part of the tree also produced larger number of black stigma on cvs. `Debreceni bőtermő' and ‘Érdi bőtermő'. Though symptoms were not typical to frost damage, we believe that black stigma is probably due to environmental factors during flowering. This might be associated with late spring cold coming from the soil surface as the bottom and outer part of the tree was more suffered from the disease.

  • Floral biology, pollination and fertilisation of temperate zone fruit trees

    The knowledge of blooming, pollination and fertilisation and its use are indispensable in maximizing of cropping potential of fruits in economical fruit production. In attaining maximum yield a greater attention has to be focused on choosing cultivar combinations, and results of experiments on blooming, pollination and fertilisation must be applied carefully.

    To have efficient bee pollination requires attention at the time of designing an orchard. It requires further attention at the time of bloom of any of the fruit-hearing species. Markets demand new types of fruit which forces constant changes in the cultivar composition of orchard. The blooming, pollinating and fertilisation characteristics of cultivars chosen have to be known before an orchard is set up. Apart from the general knowledge of trees considered to be planted, there is a great need to know the flowering, pollinating and fertilization characteristics of each cultivar in detail.

  • Comparative study of different fertile groups in plums

    The plum traditional fruit species in Hungary, several local cultivars was born in the different grower's districts. The author that investigated, that are morphological differences between an odds find self-fertile, self sterile (with functional stamens) and male sterile plum cultivars. For it thought about main questions of a scientific debate sown up and the study this way gave reactions totalize. There were in three fertile groups 8-8 type of feature plum cultivars in periods of 1992-2001, respectively 1993-1999. It was founded by author big odds found the troops on the basis of 9 traits between. Pistil length of self sterile cultivars very typical, such as sesquipedalian flower peduncle of the self-fertile plums and the hypoandry of male sterile cultivars. The relative stamen number and the pollen viability as well significant odds gave.

    The average fruit mass and sharka infection of self-fertile plums this troops extreme work. According to cultivar's averages the shark symptoms standard the right correlation the singular traits, but those one part of her with each other not shown connection.

    The annuity potencies underdeveloped the troops behind and the troops within cultivar's differences had case significance. The results usable the male sterile cultivars and progeny further its investments.

  • Goals and results in improvement of biological background of medicinal plant production

    The choice of varieties among medicinal plant species is relatively small, compared to other horticultural crops. In Hungary, only poppy (Papaver somniferum) and mustard (Sinapis alba) have several cultivars. Recognising the problem, in the recent years breeding activity has been intensified all over the world, in spite of financial, technical and legal difficulties. The article reports on the results of breeding at the Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Szent István University, 11 varieties of which has been officially registered till 2000. Main goals of genetic improvement are: increasing of the production capacity of utilised plant organs, enhancement of active material accumulation capacity, improvement of sensory quality and technological properties. The most often applied methods are selection, and recently, cross breeding, the results of which can be measured on new materials of caraway (Carum carvi), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), marjoram (Majorana hortensis), poppy (Papaver somniferum), etc. Efficacy of breeding work is established by additional, regular research on the genetics, physiology, floral and reproductive biology, chemosyndromes of medicinal plant species.