Detailed studies and comparisons were carried out on those flower characters of sour cherry cultivars that may affect bee pollination of flowers. Flower characters of sour cherry are fairly similar to other temperate zone fruit tree species. Their relatively small flowers distinguish the Cigánymeggy-types of cultivars from the flowers of tart...cherries cultivars that are conspicuously larger, almost as large as the sweet cherry flowers. The relative position of flower organs was much more variable according to the season than according to the cultivars. So the differences were rather the consequences of seasonal effects than of variety features of sour cherry cultivars. As far as individual cultivars are concerned differences in the nectar production and the sugar concentration are revealed rather between groups of cultivars than between individual cultivars. The pollen production of flowers was extremely changeable in consecutive years. Most honeybees collected nectar at sour cherry flowers; pure pollen gatherers and mixed behaviour bees were half as frequent but differences among the behaviour of honeybees according to cultivars cannot be stated. The fidelity of honeybees to sour cherry is less expressed than to some other fruit tree species. Accordingly, it is very strongly suggested to take the competitive effect other plant species (weeds) flowering in and around the orchard carefully into account when organizing additional bee pollination in sour cherry plantations. Several sour cherry cultivars possess more or less self-fertilization capacity but this is greatly changeable according to the season. It has been proved that self-sterile sour cherry cultivars are sensitive even on the partial restriction of the effective time of bee pollination and it is to be stressed too that even in the case of partly self-fruitful cultivars bee pollination is also vital in yield formation because medium or strong restriction of the effective bee pollination period is of a definite negative effect on their fruit set and yield. In years with unfavourable weather the yield can dramatically be reduced sometimes down to nil. However, very high fruit set is also unfavourable because a negative correlation was detected between the final set and the mean mass of fruits.
Several morphological characters of the hypanthium (size and form of the surface, the shape of the hypanthium) and anatomical traits (number and pattern of stomata) of apple cultivars (Malus domestica L.) with different susceptibility to fire blight were studied. The size of hypantium surface was calculated by modelling the hypanthium...with a truncated cone. Three types of hypanthium surface form have been revealed: straight, convex and a complex "shouldered" one. The angle between the style and the wall of the hypanthium was narrow or wide. The stomata on the hypanthium surface can be arranged in a zone in the middle third of the hypanthium or dispersed more or less evenly. The number of stomata/flower substantially differed among the cultivars examined. The highest stomata number was detected in the flowers of the tolerant cultivar (Freedom)
No single characteristics of the hypanthium could convincingly be correlated with susceptibility to fire blight. We suggest, however, that combination of morphological properties that sustain moist environment in the hypanthium contribute to susceptibility.
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.