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What has the state got to do with the venture capital market?

Public financing of venture capital in Hungary

Author: J. Karsai

Since the development of young companies with a good growth potential can also be expected to boost economic growth, reduce unemployment and enhance competitiveness, economic policy makers consider it a matter of prime importance that the venture capital industry provide appropriate capital supply for their development. Many countries implement central programmes to promote the venture capital financing of the development of enterprises that would have no access to venture capital on a purely market basis. The experience in Hungary is that state intervention in the venture capital industry mainly has political reasons, it uses budgetary sources sparingly and it is isolated from the private sector. But for its almost complete inefficiency, state activity would have softened the conditions of competition, crowded out the private sector and given preferential treatment to the political clientele. Realizing the abortive nature of its intervention, the state made no effort to identify the causes of failure and the role of supply and demand factors, respectively, hindering the venture capital supply of the small and medium-size enterprise (SME) sector. The intervention practice chosen by the state most recently is contrary to the practice of the European Union in several respects — a circumstance dooming government measures to boost the venture capital industry to failure again.

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We used cellular automata models to investigate the effect of initial pattern geometry on competition. We measured the average proportion of sites with foreign neighbours to track interspecific segregation during pattern development. Our simulation results show that intraspecific aggregation can considerably slow down the extinction of the weaker competitor. A series of experiments was performed to estimate the expected time to extinction for the weaker species. The perimeter-to-area ratio of the initial configuration proved to be an adequate determinant of expected timeto- extinction. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the degree of aggregation is closely related to the local density dependence of the colonization functions.

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Studies on plant development phases and yield component patterns of wheat are essential for a better understanding of adaptation in wheat. Our main aim was to carry out detailed phenological analyses of 18 wheat genotypes in three sowing times for determining the effect of sowing date on individual phenophases, and yield components. Sowing date had the single greatest effect on the start of intensive stem elongation. The longer vegetation period had a favourable effect on main spike length and on the spikelet number per spike, but had no influence on thousand-kernel weight and grain number per spike. The time between the first node appearance and start of intensive stem elongation had a significant effect on the number of reproductive tillers. A close association (R2 = 0.191) was observed during the second phase of intensive stem elongation between the boot stage-to-heading interval and the number of spikelets per spike. Two-way analysis of variance on the yield components showed that the sowing date, as a main factor, had a weaker effect on the phenophases than on morphological and developmental parameters. The insensitive allele of the Ppd-D1 gene shortened the time required for first node appearance and heading both in autumn and spring sowing.

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The yield potential of wheat depends not only on genetic × environmental interactions, but also on various agronomic factors such as sowing date or the seed rate used for sowing. The main aim of this work was to determine possible correlations between the effects of different sowing dates and plant densities on the yield components of a collection of 48 wheat genotypes. Two-way analysis of variance on the data revealed that both sowing date and plant density, as main components, only had a minor effect on the yield component patterns. Correlation analysis, however, indicated that the sowing date had a greater effect on the yield components, while plant density was in closer correlation with the heading time (r = 0.90). The patterns determined for individual yield components at two different sowing dates and plant densities showed significant differences for spike length, spike fertility, grain number in the main spike, number of productive tillers, grain number on side tillers, mean grain number and grain weight. Genotypes that carry the winter (recessive) alleles of genes regulating vernalisation processes (VRN-A1, VRN-B1, VRN-D1) and the sensitive (recessive) alleles of the two genes responsible for photoperiod sensitivity (PPD-B1, PPD-D1) may have better tillering and consequently higher grain yield, though this may depend greatly on the year.

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Authors: J. Janan, L. Bárdos, Mária Karsai, Gabriella Ágota, Péter Rudas, J. Kozák and L. Bódi

The susceptibility of geese of different genotypes and sexes to force-feeding, some plasma biochemical parameters (thyroid hormones, cholesterol, retinoids, total protein and albumin) of force-fed geese, and the relationship between force-feeding, fat storage and the above-mentioned parameters were studied. Sixty (30 male and 30 female) geese of three genotypes (Hungarian, Landes and their crossbred called Babat Hybrid) were divided in two groups at 12 weeks of age. Geese in one group (5 males and 5 females from each genotype) received mixed feedingad libitum. Birds in the other group were force-fed with maize. After 3 weeks all birds were bled, blood samples were taken, and the above-mentioned plasma parameters were determined. Thyroxine (T4) levels were significantly lower in force-fed (11.6 ± 3.5 ng/ml) than in control geese (22.7 ± 4.09 ng/ml). Plasma triiodothyronine (T3) level was also lower in the force-fed than in the control group, but the difference was not significant (1.87 ± 0.23 ng/ml and 2.11 ± 0.28 ng/ml, respectively). Plasma total protein (TP, 45.2 ± 4.5 g/l), albumin (ALB, 16.51 ± 2.8 g/l), (-carotene (BC, 3504 ± 3107 µg/l), retinol (ROL, 1160 ± 505 µg/l), retinyl palmitate (RP, 1745 ± 405 µg/l) and total cholesterol (TCh, 4.32 ± 0.55 mmol/l) levels were elevated in the force-fed group as compared to the control (TP = 36.4 ± 5.1 g/l, ALB = 15.6 ± 0.9 g/l, BC = 1657 ± 1681 µg/l, ROL = 687 ± 375 µg/l, RP = 1398 ± 607 µg/l, and TCh = 2.83 ± 1.98 mmol/l). All differences were significant except those found for albumin and (-carotene. No significant sex- or genotype-related effects were observed for these parameters.

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Authors: J. Bányai, P. Szűcs, I. Karsai, K. Mészáros, Cs. Kuti, L. Láng and Z. Bedő

A total of 96 winter wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars registered in Hungary were analysed using 15 wheat microsatellite markers located on different chromosome arms. Analyses revealed 91 SSR alleles with sizes ranging from 123–239 base pairs. The total number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 (Gwm664 and Gwm415) to 11 (Gwm219) with an average number of 6.1. The polymorphic information content (PIC) values ranged from 0.06 to 0.85 with an average number of 0.60 for all markers. Several markers included allele sizes characteristic of a single or a small number of cultivars. At most 9 SSR markers were required to distinguish the 96 cultivars, so the simple sequence repeats could serve as a relatively cheap, rapid method for identifying winter wheat cultivars.

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Authors: J. Bányai, I. Karsai, K. Balla, T. Kiss, Z. Bedő and L. Láng

In the present study, heat treatment was carried out in five different phenological phases, from the first node detectable (DEV31) growth stage to 20 days after flowering, on four wheat genotypes with very different adaptation strategies. They were grown in a controlled environment in a phytotron chamber and exposed to a night temperature of 20°C and a day temperature of either 30°C, at DEV31, or 35°C at all the later developmental phases, for an interval of 14 days. Plant height, leaf number, number of tillers, grain number and grain weight per main and side spikes, TKW per main and side spikes, length of the main and side spikes, and spikelet number per main and side spikes were recorded. High temperature enhanced the stem growth intensity, plant height and tiller number. In contrast, the length of side spikes, spikelet no./side spike, grain no./main and side spike, grain weight/main and side spike and TKW/main and side spike were significantly decreased. The stress response depended strongly on the developmental phase in which the heat stress was applied. Fleischmann 481 and Soissons showed definitely contrasting tendencies both in grain number and grain weight. In the case of the Plainsman V and Mv Magma pair, the higher heat stress tolerance of Magma compared to Plainsman V was evident also from the grain number and weight of the main spike at each developmental phase.

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Authors: L. Błaszczyk, I. Kramer, F. Ordon, J. Chełkowski, M. Tyrka, G. Vida and I. Karsai

The set of 44 near-isogenic lines of spring wheat cv. Thatcher and wheat genotypes known to carry specific leaf rust resistance genes were included in the present study for the preliminary validation of twelve STS and SCAR markers linked to leaf rust resistance genes Lr9, Lr19, Lr20, Lr21, Lr24, Lr25, Lr26, Lr28, Lr29, Lr37 . Seven Lr genes were specifically tagged by STS and SCAR markers. The presence of genes Lr9, Lr19, Lr20, Lr24, Lr28, Lr29, Lr37 in the tested plant materials was confirmed by a unique amplification of markers SCS5 550 , SCS265 512 and SCS253 736 , STS638, SCS73 719 , SCS421 570 , IPY10 and Lr29F24/R24, cslVrgal3, PS10R/L, respectively. Evaluation of the repeatability and the reliability of selected markers (pTAG621 for Lr1 , STS683 for Lr20 , D14L for Lr21 , Lr25F20/R19 for Lr25 , Lr29F24/R24, IPY10 for Lr29 , cslVrgal3 for Lr37 and PS10R/L for Lr47 ) across four European laboratories and PCR conditions demonstrated the usability of STS638, Lr29F24/R24, IPY10, cslVrgal3 and PS10R/L markers in marker-assisted selection. STS markers pTAG621 for gene Lr1 , D14L for gene Lr21 , Lr25F20/R19 for gene Lr25 were found to be unsuitable for effective screening of large segregating populations in breeding programs.

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Authors: Márk Váczi, É. Tékus, M. Kaj, T. Kőszegi, M. Ambrus, J. Tollár, T. Atlasz, K. Szabadfi and I. Karsai

We hypothesized that stair-jump exercise would induce less muscle damage and greater acute metabolic responses than level-jumps.

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