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  • Author or Editor: I. Jócsák x
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The classical method of growth analysis was applied to compare the effects of farmyard manure (FYM) and mineral fertiliser on the dynamics of growth and growth parameters in maize ( Zea mays L.) over a three-year period (2005–2007) in a long-term continuous maize experiment set up using the principle of active agent equivalence in 1959. The experiment included two nutrient levels: (i) the NPK active agent equivalent of 35 t ha −1 FYM in the form of FYM, FYM + mineral fertiliser or mineral fertiliser alone; (ii) the NPK active agent equivalent of 70 t ha −1 FYM in the form of FYM, FYM + mineral fertiliser or mineral fertiliser alone. The aim was to determine the mean and maximum values of the plant growth parameters AGR, ALGR, RGR, NAR and LAR and to compare the effects of FYM and mineral fertiliser on maize growth in various years in a long-term experiment. The effect of the treatments and the year were analysed in terms of the dynamics of total dry matter production, leaf area, absolute growth rate, net assimilation rate and leaf area ratio.Both the fertiliser treatments and the year had a significant influence on the mean and maximum values of the given growth parameters during the vegetative growth stage. The rate and duration of growth (AGR and ALGR) were lowest in the unfertilised control and highest in treatments given high rates of mineral fertiliser or combined FYM and mineral fertiliser. In all the treatments the significantly lowest values of maximum NAR were observed in 2005, when the weather was average, with higher values in the drier years (2006 and 2007). The maximum values of LAR were significantly the highest in the droughty year of 2007. It could be concluded from the results that the effects of FYM and mineral fertiliser and that of the year on maize growth can be reliably evaluated with the classical method of growth analysis in long-term experiments.

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In a long-term continuous maize experiment set up in 1959, the functional method of growth analysis was applied to investigate the effect of various levels of farmyard manure and mineral fertilisation on the growth of maize (Zea mays L.) and on the dynamics of the growth parameters over a 3-year period (2005–2007). The experiment involved two nutrient levels (based on the active agent equivalence principle): Level l: the NPK equivalent of 35 t ha−1 farmyard manure (FYM), applied in the form of FYM, FYM + mineral fertiliser or mineral fertiliser; Level 2: the NPK equivalent of 70 t ha−1 farmyard manure (FYM), applied in the form of FYM, FYM + mineral fertiliser or mineral fertiliser. The computerised growth analysis program elaborated by Hunt and Parsons (1974) was used to describe the effect of FYM and mineral fertiliser and to evaluate the results. This program fits functions to calculate the absolute growth rate (AGR), the relative growth rate (RGR), the net assimilation rate (NAR) and the leaf area ratio (LAR).The Hunt-Parsons program fitted a third-degree function to the dynamics of total dry matter production and second- or third-degree functions to that of the leaf area growth. The highest mean values of AGR were obtained in treatments with the higher level of mineral fertiliser alone or mineral fertiliser + FYM when the weather was favourable (2.05–2.31 g plant−1 day−1), and in treatments with the lower quantity of mineral fertiliser alone or mineral fertiliser + FYM in the case of dry weather (1.73–1.74 g plant−1 day−1). In 2005 and 2006 the absolute growth rate gave a good characterisation of the various fertiliser effects, which exhibited high values with significant differences, while in 2007 lower AGR values were obtained and no fertiliser effects were observed. In the dry year (2007) the maximum values of NAR and LAR were higher in all the treatments than in the wetter years (except at the lower rate of mineral fertiliser alone). In the case of NAR, the results obtained with the functional method of growth analysis, based on function fitting, were easier to interpret than those obtained using the classical method.It was concluded from the results that in long-term experiments the use of the functional method of growth analysis gave a more precise evaluation of the effects of fertiliser treatments and the year on the growth of maize in the vegetative growth stage and on the mean and maximum values of growth parameters.

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In a long-term experiment on continuous maize set up by Béla Győrffy in 1959, changes in biotic and abiotic environmental factors were studied over time. The long-term effects and stability of the cropping systems, the year effects and the genotype × environment interactions were analysed. The original aim of the experiment was to determine whether the NPK nutrients in farmyard manure could be replaced partially or entirely by inorganic NPK fertiliser. In the present experiment the effect of farmyard manure, mineral fertiliser and the year effect on yield and yield stability were studied for four years (2005–2008). Various levels of farmyard manure and mineral fertiliser induced significant changes in the yield, harvest index, thousand-kernel mass, grain number per ear and grain protein content.

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Research indicates that there is considerable potential for a successful switch from high chemical use to lower-input, more sustainable farming practices for maize. The overall objective of the MicroMaize project was to field-test the performance of innovative microbiological management strategies. The effect of microbial consortia on maize growth and grain yield was studied in 2008 and 2009 at Martonvásár (Hungary) in a 50-year-old long-term fertilisation experiment. The experiment was set up in a split-plot design with four replications. The main plots were the fertilisation treatments: A: control, without fertilisation (N 0 P 0 K 0 ), B: N 50 P 24 K 43 , C: N 100 P 48 K 87 , D: N 200 P 96 K 174 , E: N 300 P 144 K 261 . Three microbial inoculation treatments were the sub-plots: C0: control, no microbial consortia, C1: A. lipoferum CRT1 + P. fluorescens Pf153 + G. intraradices JJ 129 , C2: A. lipoferum CRT1 + P. fluorescens F113 + G. intraradices JJ129 . The results indicated that the microbial consortia had no significant effect on maize growth and yield. In the ecophysiological analyses, the microbial consortia were found to have a significant positive effect on the chlorophyll content and on the protein and nitrogen contents of the grain yield in 2009. The long-term results revealed that the mineral fertilisation treatments and the year had a significant influence on the growth, yield and grain quality parameters of maize. The effect of nutrient supplies and year during the vegetative growth phase of maize could be quantified using the mean values of the absolute growth rate (AGR) for maize shoots and roots and with the nutrient stress index calculated from AGR. Further field investigations on productivity and eco-physiological parameters will be needed to estimate the effect of microbial consortia.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: Gy. Rabnecz, I. Keresztényi, Gy. Isaák, I. Jócsák, Zs. Varga, and E. Peli

In this study two moss species ( Tortula ruralis and Fontinalis antipyretica ) were used to indicate the relative levels of air and water pollution by ten heavy metals: Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, V, Zn, Al, Fe and Pb at the territory of an oil refinery near to river Danube in Hungary. A period of one-month-long was studied in the summer of 2007. The elemental content of samples was determined by ICP-MS. Air pollution load of many heavy metals may originate from windswept soil dust or air depositing aerosols. The water biomonitoring did not indicate the increasing elemental load by the oil refinery.

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Inbred maize lines were treated with normal and double rates of post-emergence herbicides in a small-plot field experiment in one dry and one wet year. The chlorophyll a + b content of symptom-free ear-leaves was determined using a spectrophotometer after 50% silking in order to determine whether various rates of post-emergence herbicides had any effect on the chlorophyll content at flowering and how this was influenced by the type of year. The chlorophyll a + b content of the inbred lines was greatly dependent on the year, with values twice as high in the wet year as in the dry year. Treatment with tembotrione + isoxadifen-ethyl had no effect on the chlorophyll content in either year. Both rates of mesotrione + terbutylazine reduced the chlorophyll a + b content of one stress-sensitive inbred line in the dry year, but not in the wet year. In the wet year bentazone + dicamba increased the chlorophyll content, but only for one line was this effect significant irrespective of the dose. In the dry year the double dose caused a significant increase in this genotype, but the chlorophyll contents of the other lines did not differ significantly from the control.

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The effect of cadmium on protein expression in the aerial parts of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. ‘Mandolina’) seedlings was investigated by proteomic analysis of leaf apoplast proteins. Dramatic changes were observed in the protein pattern of intercellular washing fluid from Cd-treated (0–300 μM) barley leaves both by 1D- and 2D-PAGE. By mass spectrometric (MALDI-TOF and/or LC-MS/MS) analysis of induced proteins PR1 proteins, certain 1-3-glucanases (PR2), chitinases (PR3), members of the chitin binding PR4 family, a rich set of thaumatin-like proteins (PR5) and two PR17 proteins were identified, indicating that a general plant defence response, inducing massive secretion of pathogenesis-related proteins (PR) into the extracellular space, is an important part of the Cd-induced stress reactions. Although systemic induction of PR proteins is probably important for an adequate plant response to cadmium stress, many of these proteins are known to have an allergenic potential and as such present a health risk to plant eaters, even when the heavy metal concentration in the given plant organ is low.

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