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Reliable small-plot experiments play an important role in determining the value of hybrids, but the results of large-plot experiments, which give a better reflection of conditions and technologies, are needed to obtain reliable information on which hybrids can be produced most economically under specific cultivation conditions. Within the framework of the National Research Development Programme, large-scale tests are underway on new Hungarian maize hybrids, to promote the selection, introduction and propagation of the most economical hybrids for specific regions, ecological conditions and technological standards. The tests included hybrids Sze SC 271 (FAO 290), Dáma (FAO 300) and Mv 277 (FAO 320) from the very early maturity group, Sze SC 352 (FAO 340), Hunor (FAO 370) and Norma (FAO 380) from the early maturity group and Maraton (FAO 450) and Sze SC 463 R (FAO 490) from the medium maturity group, grown at 20 different locations in Hungary. Each year the yield differences between the locations reflected the extreme distribution of precipitation during the growing season in different parts of the country. High amounts of precipitation were required in the growing season to reach the highest yields, but moderately high yields were achieved over a wide range of rainfall levels.

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The guidelines elaborated by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) of the European Union for the registration and patenting of varieties and hybrids of cultivated crops are based on the triple criteria of distinctiveness, uniformity and stability (DUS). For many species, however, morphological descriptions are not sufficient for the detection of differences between varieties. Techniques that allow varieties to be identified and distinguished precisely and reliably are essential not only for variety identification, but also to protect variety ownership rights. Biochemical and molecular genetic methods have now reached a level of development that makes them suitable for this purpose, and when these are combined with conventional field observations the breeding stock can be unequivocally identified and any existing genetic diversity can be detected. The regular application of such analyses is a fundamental criterion in the case of maize, as more and more closely related hybrids are being entered for testing.The aim of the present work was to examine how isoenzyme patterns and PCR-based genetic markers could be used in polymorphism analysis, in order to obtain information on the genetic diversity of Hungarian breeding materials. The emphasis was on finding genetic markers characteristic of individual maize varieties, rather than of maize as a species.

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Kálmán, L., Széll, E., Toldi-Tóth, É. (2003): Stress effects influencing the success of maize production in Hungary. Breeding tools for controlling stress effects. Poster, P-16. In: Genomics and Breeding, 19th

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