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Variability of the data indicating the fertility of different plum varieties
Published June 24, 2003

Self-fertility and fertility at conditions of open pollination in plum varieties is strictly determined by genetic factors. However, rates of fruit set are highly variable according to growing sites as well as to seasons, which may result from a couple of inner and outer conditions, but mainly from the method applied in seizing the facts of fer...tility in the experiments planned including the number of replications of treatments. During three successive years, 4-16 trees of each of the four plum varieties have been selected and 16-64 branches were tagged either for checking their fertility as pollinated freely or isolated excluding the access of foreign pollen. The data of fruit set have been processed in order to determine the variability of the data, subsequently, the number of replications necessary to make reliable decisions. Both autogamy and open pollination displayed multiple differences between branches and trees studied.

A number of 20 branches are needed yearly for each variety, the branches should be distributed on 5 trees at least for checking the autogamy, whereas on 10 trees for the results of open pollination. Each variety and treatment should be represented in three seasons, at least because of the different weather conditions.

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Bee pollination and association of apricot varieties
Published August 23, 2000

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 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.


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Self pollination in peach
Published September 13, 1999

The peach is though considered to be a self fertile fruit species, also some self sterile and male sterile varieties have been registered. The latter type seems to be frequently met in Asian varieties, whereas in the USA and Europe, J. H. Hale and Flaminia are grown. The purpose of the present study was the assessment of ferti...lity relations of peaches and nectarines grown in Hungary. The authors studied, since 1974, more than 100 different peach and nectarine varieties as for fertility relations, especially their autogamous or geitonogamous fruit set on isolated, i.e. bagged flowers at bud stage, then set free after blooming finished. Isolated flowers of some varieties were also self pollinated, artificially. According to the results the varieties have been assigned to four alternative groups. Self sterile varieties in the proper sense have not been found, but partial self sterility (less than 10% fruit set), self fertility (10 to 20% fruit set) and high self fertility (more than 20% fruit set on selfed flovters) was generally met. The majority of the varieties belonged to the last two groups, nevertheless. the rate of fruit set displayed seasonal variation, the maximum was in one case 89.9%. The purposeful self (hand)pollination of the isolated flowers increased fruit set, substantially. Varieties rated as partially self-sterile are J. H. Hale and Fuzador (the former being partially male sterile too). Although in some years and some varieties, fruit set legged below 10% but according to the means the majority of nectarines are assigned to the self fertile category whereas most peach varieties, either for fresh consumption or industrial types, were highly self fertile.


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Association of European plum varieties in the orchards
Published May 24, 1999

The flowering phenology, blooming time and inter-fertility relations of 63 European plum varieties has been studied at growing sites with different ecological conditions during a 10 year long period. The purpose was to develop a system of variety combinations which approaches an optimum in fertility as long as inter-fertility relations will to be a limiting factor of yield. According to their blooming time, varieties are assigned to 5 groups: very early, early, medium, late and very late. As for their fertility relations, four groups are formed: self-sterile (0%), partially self-fertile (0.1 to 10 %), self-fertile (10.1 to 20 %) and highly self-fertile (more than 20 % fruit set with self pollination). The four categories of fruit set at free pollination are also relevant to the grower: low (less than 10 %), medium (10 to 20 %), high (20 to 40 %) and very high (more than 40 % fruit set).

By artificial cross pollination, one combination Cacanska najbolja x Stanley proved to be mutually inter-incompatible. Blocks planted to a single self-sterile variety flanking a pollinizer variety proved the spacial distribution of the pollen. The reduction in fruit set was already apparent in the second row away from the pollinizer trees. In a large plantation, without bee hives, relatively low yield was stated on self-sterile trees even close to the pollinizer.

In the case of self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties, a combination of three varieties is recommended. The blooming period of the pollinizer variety should overlap the period of the self-sterile variety at least by 70 %, and the distance should not exceed 15 to 20 meters. Association of self-fertile varieties may also enhance the productivity of the trees. In that case an overlap of 50 % in blooming time and a maximum distance between the varieties of 30 to 40 meters will be sufficient.


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Blooming phenology and fertility of sour cherry cultivars selected in Hungary
Published August 14, 2002

Experiments were conducted during the period between 1972 and 2002 at three sites in Hungary. At Érd 97, Helvetia 10, and Újfehértó, 3 cultivars were studied in variety collections. Observations were made on the blooming phenology (start, main time, end and length of the bloom period), on the blooming dynamics (the rate of the open flowers ...counted every day), on the receptivity of sexual organs, on the fruit set following self- and open-pollination and on the effect of association of varieties in the orchards (choice, rate and placement of pollinisers).

Based on the results the rate of the overlap of the blooming times were calculated and varieties were assigned into five bloom time groups according to their main bloom. Self-fertility conditioned by natural self pollination was studied and good pollinisers were chosen (sweet, sour and duke cherry varieties) for the self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties.

The necessity of bee pollination was proved by different pollination methods: natural self-pollination, artificial self-pollination, open pollination. Summary: Experiments were conducted during the period between 1972 and 2002 at three sites in Hungary. At Érd 97, Helvetia 10, and Újfehértó, 3 cultivars were studied in variety collections. Observations were made on the flowering phenology (start, main time, end and length of the bloom period), on the flowering dynamics (the rate of the open flowers counted every day), on the receptivity of sexual organs, on the fruit set following self- and open-pollination and on the effect of association of varieties in the orchards (choice, rate and placement of pollinisers).

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Time of flowering and fertilisation of quince varieties
Published May 24, 1999

Literature dealing with flowering and fertilisation of quince is scarce. Most controversial and scanty are informations on observations of self- and cross-pollination. According to our observations, differences in blooming time are few (2-3) days only, thus flowering of most varieties is synchronous. The varieties observed are grouped as early,... intermediate and late flowering ones. Self fertility of the individual varieties, however, was not assessed unequivocally, therefore it is recommended, by safety reasons, to consider quince actually as a whole to be auto-incompatible. Artificial self-pollination (or rather geitonogamy) as well as cross pollination with other varieties increased substantially fruit set if compared with the results of natural self-pollination (autogamy). According to the fruit set of their open pollinated flowers, varieties have been classified according to fertility as low (below 10 %), medium (between 10 and 20 %) and high (more than 20 %). Cross fertility of varieties is highly variable depending on combination and on season. Contradictory data are probably due to the sensitivity of quince to conditions of search. Better fruit set was coincident with higher number of stout seeds per fruit. Well developed seeds are definitely a prerequisite of larger fruit size.


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General principles in variety-association for intensive plantations of pomeceous fruits
Published February 23, 2000

Under conditions of Hungary, more than 400 varieties of apple, pear and quince varieties have been observed for time of blooming and fertility relations in order to check the possibility of their use for intense plantations in different combinations with polliniser varieties. Low (below 3%) rate of self-fertility occurred at 65% of apple variet...ies. That partial self-fertility, however, is far from being sufficient to produce acceptable yield, thus allogamous pollination is absolutely necessary. The same is true for the rear and quince varieties grown in Hun­gary, too. The normal development requires the presence of viable seeds in the fruit set, most in quince, therefore, association of the right varie­ties is most important in that species. Apple and pear varieties are assigned according to their blooming time to 4, quince varieties to 3 groups. The yield of all three pomaceous species declines with the growing distance from the potential pollen source. In the intense plantations, the critical (maximum) distance to be observed is 20 m for apple and 15 m for pear and quince. In combining the placement of varieties, also the principles of a variety-specific cultivation are to be considered carefully. The double objectives are satisfied most by the system of Malus­pollinisers developed for intense plantations.

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Floral biology of tree fruit rootstocks
Published April 19, 2006

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.

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Self fertility of pear varieties conditioned by natural self pollination (autogamy)
Published February 23, 2000

Authors studied the autofertility depending on natural self pollination (autogamy) in 59 pear cultivars during 4 seasons at three locations with different ecological conditions (Helvetia, Kecskemet-Kisfai, Keszthely). The aim of the experiments was to determine the autogamous tendencies of varieties hitherto unexplored in the Hungarien gene ban...k, or to check data found in the literature. A total of 42616 isolated pear flowers produced 1.2% fruits with at least one viable seed in each. The 59 varieties observed did not set fruit by autogamy on either of the three sites during the four years of the study. The triploid (3n=51) varieties were entirely self-sterile. According to the highest autogamous fruit set, during the experimental period, the varieties have been assigned to four groups: (1) Entirely auto-incompatible (0% fruit set), (2) auto-incompatible (0.1 to 0.9%), slightly self fertile (1.1 to 5%) and (4) self fertile (5.1 to 10%). According to the number of viable seeds per fruit resulting from autogamy, the varieties are assigned to three groups as (1) low seed content (less than 3 seeds per fruit), medium (3.1 to 5) and (3) high (more than 5 seeds). Thus, the assessment of the number of seeds per fruit resulting from autogamy is indispensable as a proof of the absence of parthenocarpy.

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Morphological and phenological properties of sour cherry varieties grown in Hungary and their inter-incompatibility relations
Published February 23, 2000

Regular observations and experiments were performed during a 14 year period on 6 sour cherry varieties. The morphological traits of leaves and fruits were compared, and the phenology of blooming as well as of ripening dates served to start an estimation of the possibilities of mutual pollination and the planning of harvest operations. Experimen...ts involved obligate autogamy, artificially controlled allogamy and open pollination in order to reveal self-fertility, self-sterility or inter-incompatibility relations.

The varietal characters represent, each, different values in the distinction of the items, because of their intra-varietal variability. From that point of view, the most reliable are the data of blooming and ripening time, fruit size and the fertility relations.

Inter-incompatibility was observed between the group of self-fertile, "Pándy type" varieties (`Újfehértói fürtös’, ‘Debreceni bőtermő’, ‘Kántorjánosi’) on one side and the selection of Pándy 7', a self-sterile variety on the other side. Unilateral incompatibility has been detected within the former group of new, self-fertile varieties, the combinations: (`Újfehértói fürtös’ x ‘Debreceni bőtermő’ as well as `Újfehértói fürtös’ x Kántorjánosi’.

Our results prove the close kinship between those three new varieties and the original Pándy variety on the base of being highly similar in their morphology and also of the fact of their inter-incompatibility, though unilateral.


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