Some idea of what paprika first looked like can be obtained from a relief found on the Tello Obelisk, thought to have been carved around 800-1000 AD. The introduction of paprika into Europe can be dated from the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to America in 1492. Portuguese ships carried paprika from Spain to Arabia, and from there it spread to all the areas conquered by the Ottoman Turks, including Hungary (Andrews, 1984). The first large-fruited (Kalinkói, Várnai), tomato-shaped and horn-shaped types were introduced into Hungary by Bulgarian market-gardeners in the late 19th century. These market-gardeners maintained their paprika varieties through the positive selection of individual plants. The first organised breeding of vegetable peppers is linked with the name of Lambert Angeli (1916-1971), while the most successful paprika breeder in Hungary was István Túri (1933-1999). No ready-made paprika lines are available on the market, so paprika breeders use a greater proportion of lines of their own breeding than those working with other species. It is an advantage, however, that in paprika many quality traits can be selected on the basis of phenotypical traits, so in many cases visual evaluation can be employed in place of the far more costly measurement of performance traits. A further advantage is that the paprika species behaves decisively as a self-fertilised crop, the plants require little space, and the species is cosmopolitan. To improve selection efficiency, an environment is required that accentuates differences for the traits to be selected. In Hungary this can best be achieved in a field environment, which is also less costly. The following traits can be tested in field nurseries: tolerance (CMV, Xanthomonas, etc.), horizontal resistance traits (purple nodes, leathery leaves, etc.), development rate, abiotic stress tolerance, susceptibility to sunburn and purple fruit, undesirable fruit shape and surface, lack of pungency (C gene) and undesirable flavour traits. The following traits can be selected either in the field or in the greenhouse: yield potential (fruit size, number of fruit/plant, flesh thickness), plant height, regeneration ability, Susceptibility to Ca spots, white colour, basic colour of biologically mature fruit, determinate growth. Traits that can only be selected under controlled conditions: sensitivity to light deficiency, vertical resistance genes. An important practical rule for selection is that more costly techniques should only be applied after the number of plants has been reduced using cheaper selection methods.
One important aim of hybrid breeding is to exploit the heterosis effect appearing in the F1. Nevertheless, the breeders of commercial F1 hybrids have no real information on the extent of heterosis manifested in the combinations they produce, since the mean value of the combination in question is never compared with that of the parents or of the better parent, but only with that of the most popular control variety it is hoped to surpass. The complex variety value of a new hybrid should be greater than that of the control. In the case of pepper hybrids the factors that make up the complex variety value can be divided into four groups: the early and total yield potential predicted from the individual value of the parents (P), special consumption and production traits resulting in F1 quality (Q), F1 resistance value (R) and the heterosis effect (H). The importance of these four factors in the complex variety value of a given pepper hybrid may be summed in innumerable variations, but the individual yield potential and quality traits of the parents are of outstanding importance. This is the basis, without which combining ability, resistance value and heterosis effect will remain unexploited. When selecting pepper lines for combining ability, risks may be involved in over-strict selection for general combining ability alone, so a combined crossing system involving a carefully constructed partial diallel is normally employed to obtain information on the general combining ability of lines preliminarily screened for individual plant performance and on the specific combining ability of their combinations. Cross-breeding aimed at the development of parental lines and constant varieties makes use of single crosses, crossing series, backcrossing and resistance breeding.
As locus-specific co-dominant PCR-based markers that allow semi-automated, high-throughput investigation technologies, microsatellites are ideal tools for genotype identification. Eleven of a set of 114 microsatellite markers available at the Agricultural Biotechnology Center proved to be suitable to distinguish between the parents of at least one of nine sweet pepper hybrid combinations. Markers with the highest information capacity were found to be capable of distinguishing between the parents of four different hybrid combinations and exhibited up to four different alleles in 18 haplotypes.
The paper is a short summary of the main archaeological outcomes of an interdisciplinary project in a section of the Drava river crossing the territory of Somogy county, in Hungary. One of the study areas is the vicinity of Berzence where medieval settlement patterns, land use and economy have been reconstructed on the basis of historical sources and an archaeological field survey. A comprehensive review of architectural history and material culture of the Ottoman Period stronghold in Barcs was the other area under investigation. Research there was based on written sources and the archaeological assemblage recovered from the palisaded fort. Zooarchaeological research at this site revealed some significant culture historical aspects of this stronghold. Underwater archaeological investigations carried out in the Drava river itself and aerial exploration of the study areas also supplied valuable archaeological results.