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The effect of the limitation of insect pollination period on the fruit set and yield of temperate-zone fruit tree species
Published February 23, 2000

The duration of effective bee pollination period was limited by caging flowering branches for shorter or longer time in blooming fruit trees in a number of experiments during the past decades. In the case of self-sterile fruit species and cultivars (apples, pears, quinces, some plums, some sour cherries) even partial limitation of the effective... duration of bee pollination period significantly reduced the fruit set and the yield. In the case of self-fertile apricots the effect of the total and also the influence of partial limitation of bee pollination period was the same as in the case of the mentioned self-sterile fruits. On the other hand, in the case of another self-fertile fruits (some plums, some sour cherries), the effect of partial limitation of bee pollination period was usually small, but complete (or incomplete but strong) limitation of be pollination usually resulted in a strong reduction of yield. This means that not only self-sterile but also self-fertile fruits clearly depend on insect (bee) pollination. This is because pollen dehiscence of anthers and the receptive period of stigmas do not overlap in time within the individual flowers. Stigmas in self-fertile trees, therefore, need pollen carried by bees from another flowers of the same tree (or compatible pollen from another trees). Accordingly, additional bee pollination (moving bee colonies to the orchards in flower) is needed to all kinds of temperate-zone fruit tree species when bee visitation of plantations is not abundant enough for some reasons.

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Association of varieties in stone fruit plantations
Published June 6, 2000

In the majority of Hungarian orchards of stone fruits, the planting distance is 6-7 m x 4-5 m. As many of the current varieties are self-incompatible, planting designs are applied to provide for adequate pollinisers. As long as differences in blooming time are small, i.e. 3-5 days at most, overlaps of blooming of the associated varieties are su...fficient for fruit set.

In sour cherry, one leading variety, Pándy, is self-incompatible and requires two polliniser varieties at least (Ciganyneggy or some sweet cherry varieties). Pándy is, moreover, cross-incompatible with the varieties Debreceni bőtermő, Kántorjánosi and Újfehértói fürtös being all of them self-fertile as most of new varieties recommended, by the way, for being planted to monovarietal blocks.

Among European plums there are varieties registered as male sterile, self-incompatible, parially self-fertile and self-fertile, respectively. For the purpose of cross pollination, the choice of two varieties, at least, to be associated to any variety belonging to the first three groups, is recommended. The number of rows in blocks planted to self incompatible or male-sterile varieties should not be higher than 2-(4). Inter-incompatibility has been observed within the currently recommended assortment, between the varieties Cacanska najbolja and Stanley, only. Chinese-Japanese plums are scarcely represented in Hungarian plantations. Variation of blooming time in varieties is somewhat more pronounced, i.e. 5-8 days. There is but a weak tendency to self-fertility, thus practically, all varieties are considered as self-incompatible, thus the planting of two-row blocks for each of three varieties, at least, are recommended to be associated.

Self-incompatibility and partially self-fertile apricot varieties are recommended to be combined with two polliniser varieties, at least, each planted to two-row blocks. The varieties Ceglédi óriás, Ligeti óriás, Nagykőrösi óriás and Szegedi Mammut are mutually inter-incompatible. Most of the peach varieties grown in Hungary are self-fertile, thus they are planted to large blocks, each. On sites threatened by late spring frost, it is recommended to plant (monovarietal) blocks of 4-6 rows at most. Cross-pollination may increase fruit set even in self-fertile varieties.


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The effect of the fruit set on the mean mass of sour cherry fruits
Published March 21, 2001

Experiments were conducted with four sour cherry cultivars three of that were self-fertile and one was self-sterile. Different levels of fruit set were obtained by limiting, the bee pollination period. The limitation of the duration of the effective bee pollination period definitely affected the fruit set of all the four cvs. The mass of indivi...dual fruits seemed to be related to the final set but this relationship has not find to be definitely expressed statistically at that moderate level of maximum fruit sets (10-14 per cent at the maximum) we obtained in the experiments. For this reason, further research is needed to explore that level of fruit set that can notably reduce the fruit size (mass) to an undesirable extent.


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Effect of the placement of self-incompatible apricot varieties on their yield in commercial plantations
Published September 13, 1999

Earlier studies concerning self-, free- and cross- fertilization of apricot varieties grown in Hungary, proved the existence of self-sterile as well as self-fertile varieties within the recommended assortment. The self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties should be planted in association with polliniser varieties, only. The present pape...r reports about the yields of trees of the widely grown, self-sterile local variety, Ceglédi óriás (Giant of Cegléd), depending on the distance of adequate polliniser trees. In the univarietal, 27 row-wide block of the relevant variety, an efficient polliniser, Magyar kajszi was planted to the 10th and 19th row. In the close vicinity, another block of polliniser, Rózsakajszi C. 320 was located. The number of fruits set per tree has been counted or estimated in two consecutive years. In both seasons, the yield of the Ceglédi óriás trees diminished with the growing distance from the nearest polliniser trees. Those trees in the center of the block, between the two (10th and 19th) rows of Magyar kajszi bore acceptable yield (40 kg/tree in 1987), however, considerable reduction of the number of the fruits set was stated already in the 4-5th row from the polliniser away. Similar gradient of fruit set was apparent in relation to the neighbouring block of Rózsakajszi C 320. The beneficial effect of the vicinity of polliniser varieties was obvious as far as the distance of the 10th row. Taking into consideration the self-sterility, the early blooming time and the poor fertilization of the variety Ceglédi óriás, a planting design of associating it with at least two polliniser varieties (e.g. Gönci magyar kajszi and Ceglédi bíbor) is highly recommended. On the basis also of earlier results, a proposal has been developed for the association of apricot varieties as recommendations for optimising yields. Blooming time, fertilizing potential, schedule of the picking season and market possibilities have to be considered simultaneously.

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Pollen morphology of fruit species
Published June 6, 2000

Size and surface morphology of pollen has been studied in 87 twit varieties of 10 fruit species during the period of 1990-1995. No preceding work of that type came to our knowledge, yet.

The samples comprised a wide variety of cultivars included male sterile, self-incompatible, partially self-fertile stone fruits, diploid and hexaploid ...plums, diploid and triploid apples.

The large number of species and varieties facilitated the comparison of items within and between the respective species.

It was stated that the size, shape and surface morphology of pollen is genetically determined and those data, combined with other variety characters, are suitable for the classification and distinction of varieties.

In assessment of pollen size and shape, their moisture content is crucial. The major diameter of the swollen pollen as well as the length and width of the dry grains are characteristic to species and/or to variety.

The width and shape changes largely with moisture content. Large grains are proper to quince, apricot, peach and almond, medium sizes are found in apple, sweet cherry, sour cherry, European plum, whereas small size is typical to Japanese plums.

The low number of varieties studied does not allow conclusions concerning differences within pears, quinces and almonds as species. In the rest of species, valid differences have been registered as between varieties.

Within species, as apple and plum, the effect of ploidy (i.e. number of chromosomes) was expressed in the size of their pollen. In stone fruit species, the correlation between size. of anthers and size of pollen grains was positive.

Genetic relations between the self-fertile sour cherry varieties of the Pándy type (Debreceni bőtermő, Kántorjánosi, Újfehértói fürtös) as well as the self-incompatible apricots of "giant" fruit size are supposed to be analysed by pollen studies but there did not turn out any decisive conclusion, yet. Other characters also should be considered.

The assembly of pollen characters is decisive in the determination of the variety. The ratio of empty pollen grains, the grain size and the density as well as the size of the pits on the surface are best suited to distinguish pollen lots.


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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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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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