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.
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.
Powdery mildew, Phylloxera and downy mildew epidemics devastated large areas of vineyards in Hungary in the 1800s. To establish new plantages resistant so called "direct producers" were imported from America (direct means "without grafting"). Direct producers have secure yield but their quality is inferior. After World War II, an organized bree...ding programme was started to replace them and parallel to this the law prohibited their production. As a resistance gene source, the E.2 clone (S. V. 12375 E.2) of Seyve-Villard 12375, Franco-American hybrid selected in Eger was used by Hungarian breeders. Several valuable hybrid families have originated from crosses of this variety hybrid.
In the Research Institute for Viticulture and Enology at Kecskemét, two valuable table grape hybrids were registered under the names of R.65=Esther and R.78=Fanny coming from 2 hybrid families of the parent S. V. 12375 E.2. Both varieties may be cultivated "environmentally".
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 cultivar...s. 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.
TheHungarian pear collection (Pyrus communis L.) consists of 423 genotypes distributed over seven genebanks inHungary. This is one of themost extensive collections of native and cultivated pears found in Eastern Europe and includes a wide range of genotypes with small size fruit (referred to as “Miniature pears”). Based on the in situ and e...x situ measures taken by governmental and other institutions for fruit tree conservation in Hungary, an overview is given on some activities regarding areas of Pyrus collection and genebanks where pears are collected and grown. Descriptions of traits of miniature pears found in Hungarian genebanks for the interest of genetic characterization and breeding are presented.
The appearance of resistance to powdery mildew was investigated on seedling progenies of interspecific crossings. Hybrids of American and East-Asian wild species and one Vitis vinifera variety (Janjal kara) were used as source of resistance in the crossings. The resistance of foliage and of berries were tested in the field at the time...of vintage. The degree of resistance was ranked into six classes.
In American and Asian hybrid derivatives there were few highly resistant progenies, but in the hybrids of Janjal kara variety more than 90 % of the progenies proved to be highly resistant to powdery mildew. According to the distribution of classes of resistance in the populations the resistance of American and Asian sources are mostly influenced by additive gene affects. The resistance of Janjal kara seemed to be mono or digenic.
No close correlation was found between the powdery mildew resistance of the foliage and that of the berries.