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General defense system in the plant kingdom
Published March 21, 2001

The goal of plant breeders is to improve the resistance of crops against virus, bacterium and fungus pathogens was easiest to achieve by selection for phenotypes displaying the hypersensitive reaction. The resistant plant of that type keeps its health by preventing or delaying the systemization of the pathogen by destruction of cells a...nd tissues of variable size or amputation of the contaminated organs. The faster the reaction of the host plant is the more efficient and economical is the defense, since the extent of tissue destruction decreases proportionally with the speed of reaction.

During a breeding program for resistance carried out on several plant species, mainly vegetables over thirty years, also an alternative defense reaction has been experienced, which fundamentally differs from the hypersensitive reaction. In that reaction the cells and tissues of the host plant being exposed to the pathogen do not die, on the contrary they hinder systemization of the pathogen by tissue thickening. An additional significant difference is that on the contrary to hypersensitive reaction this reaction is less host- or pathogen-specific and works excellently even at high temperature (over 40 °C).

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Reactions of different plant organs of pear cultivars to Erwinia amylovora infection
Published April 14, 2003

Research project has been initiated in 1999 with the aim of evaluating the degree of susceptibility/resistance of pear cultivars grown in Hungary to fire blight disease caused by Erwinia amylovora. The recently selected promising cultivars were also examined. Inoculation experiments were conducted in controlled greenhouse conditions be...cause of quarantine regulations in Hungary. Following the disease process, development of symptoms of plant organs (shoots, flower parts, fruits) was observed. Suspension of two E. amylovora strains (Ea 21, Ea 23) isolated from pear was used in a mixture (5x108 cells x m1-1) for the inoculation. Twenty-six pear cultivars were examined and grouped into four categories: low susceptibility, moderately susceptible, susceptible and very susceptible. Most of the cultivars were susceptible or very susceptible while some promising 'Eldorado', 'Harrow Delight' and `Hosui' showed low susceptibility.

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Goals and results in improvement of biological background of medicinal plant production
Published June 6, 2001

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 fin...ancial, 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.


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Antioxidant activity of medicinal plants used in phytotherapy
Published June 6, 2001

Oxygen free radicals play an important role in the development of different disorders like inflammatory-immune injury, carcinogenesis, hepatic toxicity and artherosclerosis. The antioxydant role of a wide spectrum of natural products has been established. Flavonoids and other phenolic compounds (proanthocyanidins, rosmarinic acid, hydroxicinnam...ic derivatives, catechines, etc.) of plant origin have been reported as scavengers and inhibitors of lipid peroxidation.

We have studied the antioxidant activity as well as content and composition of natural phenolics in a series of medicinal plants with phytotherapeutical significance. Thus we determined the total phenol contents and studied the composition of flavonoids, polyphenols, phenolic acids of different vegetative and reproductive organs of medicinal plants: Anthriscus cerefolium (L.) Hoffm., Petroselinum crispum L., Cichorium intybus L., Helichrysum arenarium D.C.„cempervivum tectorum L., Taravacum officinale Web.

Characteristic constituents in the various crude drugs were determined by chromatographic (TLC, HPLC) and spectroscopic (UV, UV-VIS) methods. The non specific scavenger activities of the medicinal plant extracts were studied by the chemiluminometric technique. The changes of chemiluminescence intensity of the H,G,•0H-luminol system at increasing concentrations of the H702/ -OH were measured. Inhibitory effects of selected standardized fractions from plants were tested on ascorbic acid induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver and homogenates.

The best correlation were established with total phenolics in some medicinal plants (S. tectorum, T. officinale) while activities in other cases seem to be influenced by flavonoids (P. crispum, H. arenarium, A. cerefolium) and by hydroxicinnamic derivatives (C. intybus).


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Macronutrient accumulation in green pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) as affected by different production technologies
Published February 8, 2006

Based on the experiments, an assessment was made to determine for green pepper the amount of nutrients extracted by unit weight of fruit and plant parts not meant to be consumed (foliage, stem, root), i.e. the specific nutrient requirements of pepper. A further objective was to find out to what extent nutrient accumulation in individual plant o...rgans was influenced by differences in production technology and soil conditions.

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Fruit drop: The role of inner agents and environmental factors in the drop of flowers and fruits
Published September 19, 2007

The basic conditions of fruit set (synchronic bloom, transfer of pollen, etc.) still do decide definitely the fate of the flower (Cano-Medrano & Darnell, 1998) in spite of the best weather conditions (Stösser, 2002). Beyond a set quantity of fruits, the tree is unable to bring up larger load. A system of autoregulation wo...rks in the background and causes the drop of a fraction of fruits in spite of the accomplished fertilisation and the equality of physiological precedents (Soltész, 1997). There are also basically genetic agents in action. The further development of fruits maintained on the tree depends mainly on the growing conditions (e.g. water, supply of nutrients, weather adversities, pruning, fruit thinning, biotic damages, etc.), which may cause on their own turn fruit drop especially at the time of approaching maturity.

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The increasing importance of grapevine trunk diseases
Published October 18, 2016

Grapevine trunk diseases (GTDs) are destroying the woody parts of the plants, resulting decline or dieback of the grapevine. More detailed research of the GTD began in 1950s, when Hewitt et al. (1957) observed that specific symptoms cannot be detected on the diseased trunks every year. Latest results have also proved that abiotic factors affect... the appearance and the severity of the disease. Moreover several pathogenic fungi may play role as causative agents (Bertsch et al., 2013). Eutypa, Botryosphaeria, Phomopsis dieback, esca disease complex, and Petri disease are considered the major GTDs, where a variety of pathogens attack the woody perennial organs of the vine and ultimately lead to the death of the plant (Lehoczky, 1974; Larignon & Dubos, 1997; Rolshausen et al. 2010; Kotze et al., 2011; Bertsch et al., 2013; Fontaine et al., 2015).
The GTD incidence has been reported to be increased during the last decades (Úrbez-Torres et al., 2014). The esca incidence has reached 60% to 80% in some old vineyards in southern Italy (Pollastro et al., 2000; Surico et al., 2000; Calzarano & Di Marco, 2007). The disease incidence of the esca was reported to be increased from 1.83% to almost 13%, between 2003 and 2007 in Hungary (Dula, 2011). There was detected a five times increase in the GTD disease incidence in the Tokaj Wine Region, Hungary between 2014 and 2016 (Bihari et al,

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Volatile constituents of Nepeta cataria L., N. glechoma Benth. and N. parviflora M. Bieb. from Hungary
Published June 6, 2001

In the temperate zone live about 150 species of the Nepeta genus. Our investigations covered the examinations of the volatile oil containing species of the genus endemic in Hungary, Nepeta cataria and Nepeta parviflora. Latter is a relict of the ancient steppe-flora and endemic in Hungary as well. Phytochemical examin...ation of the volatile oil containing plant material has also been carried out. Catnip growing in the Botanical Garden of PTE Department of Botany contained 0,67% volatile oil in May and 0,14% in November. Chemical character of the volatile oils were measured by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and citronellol, citral-A, citral-B and geraniol components were identified. The composition of the oil of November samples shifted towards citronellol (65%). In both samples insecticide and repellent activity bearing compounds (+)-cis-p-menthane-3,8-diol, and (—)-trans-p-menthane-3,8-diol in 2-2.5 and 4-4.5% amount have been found. The catnip sample deriving from Germany contained a small amount of anetol, citronellol, neral, geraniol and geranial (6-13%), and possibly two isomers of nepetalactone in 23-31%.

The Nepeta parviflora endemic in the Nagyvolgy valley near Nagykaracsony consisted of the same compounds in the investigated years (1998-2000). Its limonene, methyl chavicol, b-cariophyllene, b-selinene, b-cubebene, davanone, germacrene-D constituents have been identified. In the year 2000 different GC % of these compounds were detected in the different organs of the plants.

The closely related species Nepeta cataria var. citriodora contained 83% citral, and the N. glechoma (= Glechoma hederacea) contained 41% a-cubebene, 20% patchoulenol, 7,7% spathulenol respectively. These compounds were identified by gas chromatography and gas chromatography / mass spectrometry.


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Damages caused by winter frosts, their temporal variation and frequencies in the main fruit growing region of Transdanubia and of the East Tisza regions of Hungary
Published July 26, 2012

The aim of the study was the study of winter frost damages, especially their changes expressed in temporal frequencies on the main fruit growing regions of the country. In our earlier paper, we introduced the calculation with the term LT50 as the quantitative expression of temperature threshold, when the lethality halves the survival of plant o...rgans, buds or cells causing 50% death rate. The damage is highly dependent on the temperature and on its duration (length of time), but not at least on the frost tolerance of the fruit trees. The incidence and severity of damage is analysed according to the apricot and peach varieties of their different susceptibility or tolerance too. Four fruit growing regions, two of the in Transdanubia and two belonging to the regions east of the Tisza river have been selected to trace the incidence and severity of frost damages. For that purpose, we analysed the history of the past 60 year period, 1951–2010, utilising the database of the network of 16 meteorological stations of the countrywide service. Being aware of the values of LT50 during the rest period and afterward, the compulsory dormancy caused by low temperature, the number of days, the probability of frost damage could be predicted. The role of the orographical profi le, the height above sea level and the exposition of plantations are also decisive. Within the same plantation, 20–30 m difference of level may cause large diversity in temperature and frost damage. Air circulation and regular incidence of winds within the Carpathian basin modify the occurrence and severity of damages. Lowlands near the southern and northern country borders are particularly exposed to winter frosts. Most damages are reported in February, as temperatures below –20 °C especially if the fi rst part of the winter was mild, or in January was a warm period. With the end of the physiological rest period of the trees, the frost-susceptibility increases signifi cantly, and a cold period of –15 °C may cause heavy damage. This study proves that tolerance of varieties infl uence the damages substantially. By planting frost tolerant varieties, winter frost damages could be diminished by 40–50% at the same growing sites. Present results may also offer a tool to estimate the risk of frost damages and express the security of yields at a given site based on the data accumulated in the database over many years.

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Flower characters and self-fertilization capacity in relation to the bee pollination at sour cherry cultivars
Published April 19, 2006

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.

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