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Pitaya(Dragon fruit) is a fast developing fruit tree in recent years. Since introduction of overseas cultiva into Taiwan by farmers in 1983, it’s cultivation area according to Farming Annual statistic(2012) is approaching 1000 hectares. During these 30 years period, regardless out of interest or commercial purpose, some farmers have engaged in cross species hybrid breeding and cultiva selection, which make present variety in Taiwan abundant and diverse in the skin and the fruit pulp color.
First, to meet needs in pitaya breeding selection feature investigation and variety patent application, our branch office has referred to the data from graduate student of University of Taiwan and take the assignment as pitaya test examination organization. Up to 2013 year's end, `Chi Yun No. 1 - MiBao' has obtained the variety patent in 2010, `Shi Shan Hun ' is under the test examination process, More farmers are preparing for application.
At present among the pitaya's production variety, the white meat and the red meat variety are of equal importance, in which the output and the quality of white meat plants is more stable, the improvement space are few; but the red meat plants pollination is not so good, fruit size uneven and pre-mature dehiscent fruiting issue, and it’s cultivated variety is chaotic, difficult for farmers to choose. From 2009, our branch office has been working on dragon fruit variety breeding selection, expect to enable breeding of more variety in the color of skin and the fruit pulp, bigger fruit, short thorn or thornless, superior flavor, with fragrance, enduring in transportation to meet the planting needs of farmers. The breeding improvement uses breeding parent embody: the Vietnamese white meat variety , scarlet variety, the Milon variety and yellow skin and so on. From these 4 kind of parents to carry on the inter-species hybridization, during 101-103 primarily selected from 200 series 98-3, 3-4-5, 3-10-7, 4-12-5 with different pulp and skin color variety.
The future direction of Taiwan pitaya variety breeding selection, in addition to carrying on the existing red meat variety quality improvement, variety in different skin and pulp color might increase the market diversification and bring consumer fresh feeling, and the fruit of intergeneric hybrid taste more refreshing, might attract new group of consumers. Furthermore, there’s necessity in adjusting production time to selectively breeds the low sensitive variety to luminosity (temperature) is one of our directions, in order to avoid the production peak of summer by advancing or delaying fruiting time.
Author: Pi-Chuan Liu, Chin-Pei Liu

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