By: Chen Cheng-wei and Elizabeth Hsu
Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) Taiwan has made a breakthrough in agricultural research by developing a test for viruses that affect the seedlings of passion fruit, a tropical crop that generates substantial annual revenues each year.
The two test kits can detect at least six strains of passion fruit virus and can thus halve the time normally spent checking the health of seedlings, Tsay Jyh-rong (蔡志榮), deputy director-general of the Taiwan Agriculture Research Institute under the Council of Agriculture, said Tuesday.
By detecting passion fruit viruses during the crop’s planting season, farmers will be able to grow healthy plants and obtain better harvests, Tsay said.
He said the technique for producing the virus test kits can be passed on to local seedling breeders for commercialization. [FULL STORY]