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Host plant preference of Metcalfa pruinosa (Say, 1830) (Hemiptera: Flatidae) in the north of Hungary
Published June 2, 2015

Citrus flatid planthopper, a native insect to North America had for a long time a scarce economic importance there. However, being polyphagous made little damage on citrus trees and some ornamentals. In 1979 it was introduced to Italy where it established and spread quickly. It is now an invasive alien species continually spreading in South and... Central Europe causing considerable damage in fruit crops and various ornamentals. Present study shows the results of a series of observations carried out from 2011 to 2015 at a number of habitats in north of Hungary. The pest could be found at each habitat but the hedge, the tree row, the gardens and the orchard/vineyard were the most infested. Frequency and population density of Metcalfa pruinosa were considerable on Asteraceae, Cannabaceae, Fabaceae, Juglandaceae, Lamiaceae, Rosaceae and Sapindaceae. Typical vegetation could be functionally classified as ornamental plants, trees/shrubs, fruit plants, weeds and feral plants. Feral plants – some of them also invasive alien species – were found at each habitat. Plant species native to America were among them the most populated. As the hedgerows were neglected, and most gardens, orchards and vineyards abandoned, these are excellent conditions for the quick and long-lasting establishment of the pest as well as they may be reservoirs to infest cultivated fruit crops and ornamentals. The hedgerow was situated along a railway line. The length of similar hedges can be merely in Pest county several hundred km, which means M. pruinosa has plenty of opportunity for spreading along the railway and infest agricultural and ornamental cultures. On the surveyed alfalfa and maize fields, accidentally very few nymphs and adults were observed. Although, the population density of M. pruinosa was considerable on many hostplants, economic damage or yield losses could not be detected. Economic or significant damage was observed only on roses, raspberries and stinging nettle. This later is cultivated in Germany and Finland. The applied horticultural oil was efficient.

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Ideas on the European stone fruit yellows – as an entomologist can see them
Published November 2, 2014

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The European stone fruit yellows (ESFY) is an important endemic disease in Europe which causes in both, the Mediterranean countries and Central Europe serious damage. Its pathogen is the ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’. The treatment and healing of the diseased trees and plantations with chemicals do not promise success. Thus, prevention may be the only solution. The transmission and spread of the pathogen happen by infected propagation material (grafting) or a vector (the psyllid, Cacopsylla pruni). Mechanism of the pathogen’s transmission and population dynamics of the vector have been extensively investigated in several European countries, which may allow by the control of C. pruni even to hold back the disease. Diseased stone fruit trees and wild Prunus spp. as main host species play an important role in maintaining and spreading the pathogen. C. pruni collects the pathogen by feeding on these plants and it carries persistently ‘Ca. P prunorum’. Researchers in Hungary have been characterized the disease only in terms of plant pathology, but neither the significance of the vector nor the role of wild Prunus spp. have been studied. This summary intends to give clues to these researches, that not only axe and saw should be the instruments of national control, but knowing the role and population dynamics of the vector the stone fruit production should be more successful.

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Examination of different fungicides against Macrophomina phaseolina in laboratory conditions
Published December 1, 2020

In Hungary, sunflower is the third most important arable crop, which has a lot of pathogenic fungi. One of these fungi is the Macrophomina phaseolina, which is a well-known fungus in all over the world, since this pathogen has more than 700 host plants. In Hungary, several host plants can be found as well. The M. phaseolina produces microsc...lerotia, which can survive in the soil and residues for almost 10 years. For now, there is no efficient treatment against this pathogen because of this fungus, since it is extremely resistant and cannot be destroyed easily. The only effective treatment against the fungus is genetic defence. In this study, three different fungicides were tested in vitro against the fungus. The Mirage (prochloraz) seemed to be the most effective fungicide as it completely arrested the hyphal growth. In contrast, the Amistar Xtra (azoxystrobin and ciprochonazol) has only a minor effect on the growth of M. phaseolina. Thirdly, the Retengo (pyrachlostrobin) arrested the hyhpal growth of the fungus with 71% at 100 ppm, in other words, the use of this fungicide seems promising. 

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An unimportant insect pest with characteristic symptoms: Halticus apterus (Miridae)
Published June 14, 2017

Halticus apterus, a tiny mirid bug with jumping hind legs has not been taught in agricultural entomology courses in Hungary. However, the most detailed agricultural entomology text book, the “Handbook of Agricultural Entomology” briefly presents the pest. Although, it is common in Hungary, its damage is insignificant because of the low dens...ity; it can cause quality loss in feed crops only. Nevertheless, its special symptom – spottedness – is worth taking into consideration. The author has been studying pests and natural enemies of alfalfa for a long time (at least ten years), so he focused attention on this species. Occurrence of H. apterus was only sporadic in the alfalfa field, but it showed characteristic and frequent symptoms at a density of averagely three individuals per alfalfa plants in mixed plant associations at the studied field edge. By presenting the damage appearance and form, it was possible to make a more accurate description of H. apterus’symptoms, and with evaluating relevant European references, also the detailed entomological characterisation, economic importance and assessment of future risks have been achieved. As a difference to former descriptions, the special leaf spottedness of H. apterus does not consist of homogenous round spots but rather of spherical conglomerations of tiny whitish dots caused by the piercing and sucking mouthparts and the injected saliva

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Varietal dependent response of barley to soil-borne Waitea circinata infection
Published June 2, 2015

The disease syndrome caused by Waitea circinata, a soil-borne pathogen introduced in the past decade into Carpathian basin, visually indistinguishable of those caused by various Rhizoctonia strains in diverse host plant. Dicotyledonaceous species in general proved to be more tolerant to this new pathogen than monotyledonaceous ones. This mesoph...ilic fungus can seriously damage cereals. The barley varieties, similarly to other plants, exhibited highly different individual reaction to soil borne infection, Bivoy being the most while Maresi the less tolerant among the 9 tested varieties. Two groups could be separated on the base of their response to Rhizoctonia; Jubilant, Bivoy, Pasadena formed one group being moderately tolerant and Anabell, Scarlett, Rex and Omega the other group of more susceptibles. Three significant factors influence on the virulence of Rhizoctonia strains comprised 62% of total variation.

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White rust species (Chromista, Peronosporomycetes, Albuginales, Albuginaceae) on common weeds in Hungary
Published June 2, 2015

The obligate plant parasite fungi in the family Albuginaceae are responsible for causing white rust diseases on weeds and they are rather common worldwide. Weedy plants with characteristic symptoms have been collected in 2014 and 2015 on location Hajdú-Bihar and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok counties in Hungary. The determination of the species were b...ased on the morphological characters both pathogens and hosts. Albugo candida was determined on shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris). Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a host for Wilsoniana portulacae. The fungus Wilsonia bliti (syn.: Albugo bliti), the causal agent of white rust disease was found on redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus).

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Q-PCR analysis of the resistance of Hungarian Botrytis cinerea isolates toward azoxystrobin
Published October 30, 2011

The genes being in the mitochondrial DNA primarily encode the enzymes of cellular respiration. Fungicides belonging to the family of quinol oxidase inhibitors (QoIs) play on important role in the protection against several plant diseases caused by fungi. These fungicides bind to the cytochrome bc1 complex so they block electron transport betwee...n cytochrome b and cytochrome c1. This way these fungicides inhibit the ATP synthesis consequently they inhibit the mitochondrial respiration. The QoI resistance has two mechanisms. One of them is the point mutation of the cytochrome b gene (CYTB), e.g. the substitution of a single glycine by alanine at position 143 results in high-resistance. The other is the cyanide-resistant alternative respiration sustained by the alternative oxidase.
In a cell there are several mitochondria. The phenomenon when the genomes of all mitochondria in the cell are identical is called homoplazmy. If in the cell there is wild and mutant mitochondrial DNA this is called heteroplasmy. Whether the mutation in the mitochondria causes fenotypical diversity or does not depend on the dose, i.e. it depends on the percentage of the changed mitochondrials. During our work we investigated Botrytis cinerea single spore isolates which have been collected in 2008-2009 on different host plants. Our goal was to decide whether heteroplasmy influences the level of resistance. We managed to detect the change of the level of heteroplasmy, so the change the level of the resistance due to the treatment with fungicide.

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Seasonal changes of photosynthetical parameters as a results of forest gap model
Published February 17, 2015

Photosynthetic parameters of English oak (Quercus robur L.) as a member of Querco robori-Carpinetum were investigated in two different habitat in terms of gap forest management: in the gap and in the host forest. The artifical opening process of the forest resulted in more light for growing saplings and need for acclimatization. Photosynthesis one of the most important way for plant life and plant production. In the centre of photosynthetic efficiency the quality and quantity traits of photosynthetic pigments are standing. During our work some photosynthetic parameters of plants (in the gap and in the forest as well) were measured: relative chlorophyll content as SPAD index, chlorophyll a and b content, total chlorophyll content and ratio of chlorophyll a and b. Based on our results no significant differences among our data in early spring. Although, during the summer significant differences occurred between the measured values in the gap and in the forest area. Lower total chlorophyll content was experienced in the gap, than in the forest area due to the lower chlorophyll-b content. Because of the high light intensity higher chla/chlb ratio was measured in the gap. The lower chlorophyll contents of gap habitat may have a part of the acclimatization process of photosynthetic apparatus against high light stress, which can determinate the survival chance of individual.

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Phytopatological properties of symbiotic Rhizoctonia solani strains associated to orchids
Published November 2, 2014

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The mycobiota of the Orchidarium of ELTE Botanical Garden (Budapest) has been studied applying aerobiological methods and isolating of tissue samples taken from 92 individuals of sixty orchid species. Among isolated basidiomycetaceous fungi 13 strains of Rhizoctonia solani were surviving in axenic culture. These symbiotic R. solani strains proved to be pathogenic on 24 cultivated plant species at varying degree. The symptoms of disease caused by R. solani strains isolated from orchids did not differ from that caused by reference strains. Three groups of strains could be separated regardless of their source or aggressivity. The host plants clustered into two groups, and their taxonomic position had no role in this respect. In general, we can assume that orchid associated Rhizoctonia strains are potential plant pathogens, and removed or withdrawn orchid stools should be treated as hazardous waste.

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Phytoplasma diseases on fruits in Hungary
Published November 2, 2014

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">In the last twenty years, three phytoplasma diseases were identified in Hungary, viz. European Stone Fruit Yellows (ESFY) (caused by Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum), pear decline (caused by Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri), and apple proliferation (caused by Candidatus Phytoplasma mali). Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum was isolated from apricot, peach, plum and japanese plum. Cacopsylla pruni the vector of ESFY was also isolated and identified. Infection of Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri was diagnosed from pear and Candidatus Phytoplasma mali was found on apple and pear. The three phytoplasmas cause different damages on their host plants. The most economically important phytoplasma disease is the ESFY. It seriously impairs apricot and japanase plum trees. After infection of apricots and japanese plums show yellowing and defoliation, and within a few years die in apoplexy-like symptoms. The disease on japanese plum is so severe that this fruit practically can not be cultivated in Hungary. Pear decline is the most serious problem especially in intensive pear plantations. The vector Cacopsylla pyri, C. pyrisuga and C. pyricola can be found in almost all pear orchards. Because of the regular presence of psyllids in intensive pear orchards the insecticide control is necessary. Apple proliferation is not an important disease in Hungary. All of our isolations of ’Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ occured in organic orchards and record was not available in Hungary lately.

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