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Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) shows morphological plasticity influenced by environmental factors such as radiation and temperature. The effect of row orientation, exposition of leaves and orchard altitude on leaf morphological traits was evaluated. Grapevine cultivar ‘Furmint’ was investigated in this study with the new version of the GRA.LE.D. raster graphic software. The standard OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine) descriptors were used with additional size parameters. High morphological variability was observed among the leaves collected from 4 different row orientations and 5 levels of expositions. Exposition levels were assigned according to the estimated total radiation collected by leaves at their position. Selected parameters also responded sensitively to changing elevation in the range of 110–289 m. According to the results, traditional leaf morphological investigations performed with machine vision systems may be recommended to reveal significant ecological factors on ampelometric traits.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Éva Várallyay, Zsuzsanna Lichner, Judit Sáfrány, Z. Havelda, P. Salamon, Gy. Bisztray, and J. Burgyán

Medicago truncatula, the model plant of legumes, is well characterized, but there is only a little knowledge about it as a viral host. Viral vectors can be used for expressing foreign genes or for virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), what is a fast and powerful tool to determine gene functions in plants. Viral vectors effective on Nicotiana benthamiana have been constructed from a number of viruses, however, only few of them were effective in other plants. A Tobamovirus, Sunnhemp mosaic virus (SHMV) systemically infects Medicago truncatula without causing severe symptoms. To set up a viral vector for Medicago truncatula, we prepared an infectious cDNA clone of SHMV. We constructed two VIGS vectors differing in the promoter element to drive foreign gene expression. The vectors were effective both in the expression and in the silencing of a transgene Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and in silencing of an endogenous gene Phytoene desaturase (PDS) on N. benthamiana. Still only one of the vectors was able to successfully silence the endogenous Chlorata 42 gene in M. truncatula.

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