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2019/11/11

Despite drought, then rain, fall tropicals show success

Despite extreme weather of combined heat, humidity and storms, tropical fruit from Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals Inc. is expected to have a successful fall season.
“Star fruit’s stellar reputation as a ‘quickly disappearing garnish’ has cooks thinking the fruit deserves to be in the dish whether salad, veggie side or grilled entrée,” Ostlund said. “Passion fruit iced tea in many restaurants is sparking trial at home.”Dragon fruit is also being added to salads, she said.
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2019/11/04

Agriculture exporters must change approach for better access to Chinese market.

Last week, nearly 500 trucks filled with Vietnamese agricultural products were held up at the Tân Thanh-Pò Chài Border Gate in the border province of Lạng Sơn. Most of them were transporting dragon fruit from the Mekong Delta. Measures must be taken by Vietnamese companies to adapt to changes in China’s import regulations for agricultural products, business leaders and Government officials have said.

 
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2019/11/04

Vietnam and South Africa strengthen trade ties

Joint trade sub-committee meets in Hanoi, Vietnam with aims to improve bilateral economic and trade partnerships. The goal from the meeting was to encourage cooperation in trading of agricultural products, with Vietnam calling on South Africa to open its market to fresh produce including dragon fruit, lychee, longan, rambutan and star apple.
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Articles

2019/11/01

CURRENT STUDIES IN PITAYA VIRAL DISEASES

Pitaya (Hylocereus spp.), also known as pitahaya or dragon fruit, is a perennial climbing epiphytic plant in the family of Cactaceae. This cactus plant is native to the forests of Mexico, Central and South America and is becoming a high-value tropical fruit crop in Taiwan. Commercially cultivated pitayas are mainly propagated from cuttings. If mother plants are infected with viruses, diseases can be spread easily. In 2001, the research team of Professor Ruey-Fen Liou at National Taiwan University (NTU) published the first paper of pitaya-infecting virus, Cactus virus X (CVX) which is a member of the genus Potexvirus, in Taiwan. They purified a CVX-Hu isolate, prepared its antiserum and developed the DAS-ELISA for CVX detection. In addition, they cloned and completely sequenced the CVX-Hu isolate. Liao et al. at Taiwan Agriculture Research Institute performed a pitaya disease survey and the result indicated that CVX was widespread in the pitayas and the infection incidence ranged
50%~90% in different areas of Taiwan and Kinman.
In 2005, we isolated a new NTU strain of CVX from the pitayas grown in the experimental farm at NTU, and obtained the complete genomic sequence of CVX-NTU. During 2006 to 2008, one potexvirus, Zygocactus virus X (ZyVX), was isolated and identified by our laboratory in the pitaya samples collected from the Yanmingshan orchard. This is the first report of ZyVX in Taiwan and also the first record of pitaya-infecting ZyMV. In addition, another potexvirus was isolated from the same batch of pitaya samples, and it was identified to be a new species of the genus Potexvirus. Because this new potexvirus was originally found in pitaya and thus named as Pitaya virus X (PiVX). The results of phylogenetic analyses on the full-length genomes of CVX, ZyVX-P39, PiVX-P37 and other published potexviruses demonstrated that all Cactaceae-infecting potexviruses belong to the same cluster. To study the distribution of CVX, ZyVX and PiVX in the pitaya field, we developed a multiplex RT-PCR method for field survey. Pitayas sampled from several production areas in Taiwan were investigated for the infection rate and distribution of potexviruses. The field survey results showed that CVX was indeed widespread; ZyVX was not present in Taichung and Changhua; PiVX existed in Taipei, Ilan, Taitung and Changhua. If we can use this multiplex RT-PCR to screen pitaya propagation materials, a certification program for virus-free pitayas can be established to provide high quality pitaya seedlings for farmers.
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2019/11/01

THE NEW STAR OF DRAGON FRUIT-" CANDY CANDY" HAS SWEET FLESH

The Taiwan Agriculture Research Institute successfully breed the new variety of dragon fruit- "Candy Candy", which brings the taste and visual sensation for consumers. In the future, it hopes to promote the Candy Candy to the world and be the special variety of dragon fruit representing Taiwan.
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2019/11/01

ANTHRACNOSE OF PITAYA (HYLOCEREUS SPP.) CAUSED BY COLLETOTRICHUM SPP., A NEW POSTHARVEST DISEASE IN TAIWAN

Pitaya (Hylocereus undatus, H. polyrhizus, and H. costaricensis) has been widely planted as a fruit crop in Taiwan in the past three decades. Field survey in pitaya orchards during 2009 to 2013 showed that anthracnose of pitaya caused by Colletotrichum spp. was one of the major postharvest diseases in Taiwan. Disease symptoms encompassed brown colored sunken spots with or without water-soaked necrosis on the harvested fruits skin after storing at room temperature for 5–10 d, which apparently shortening the marketable period and reducing the price of the harvested fruits. Based on morphological characteristics and ITS region sequences, at least three species of Colletotrichum isolated from diseased fruits of pitaya collected from orchards in Taiwan were identified, including C. truncatum and 2 species within each respective C. gloeosporioides and C. boninense species complex, with isolation frequencies of 21.8, 73.4, and 4.8%, respectively, during 2009 to 2013. However, to precisely discriminate the Collectotrichum species within each respective C. gloeosporioides and C. boninense species complex, further multi-locus phylogenetic analyses are mandatory in the future. This is the first report of anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum spp. as an important postharvest disease of pitaya in Taiwan.
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