Recently, two early-ripening table grape cultivars 'Jingxiangyu' and 'Jingyan' (V. vinifera) were approved by the National Forest Variety Approval Committee of China. These cultivars were developed by the Grape and Wine Research Group (GWRG) from the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS).
While China is the world's largest producer of fresh table grapes, its global market competitiveness is hindered by the unsatisfied quality and supply period of the fruits. "Currently, 'Kyoho' (mid-ripening, bred in Japan) and 'Red Global' (late-ripening, bred in US) account for two thirds of plantation in China, which further leads to the weakness of the export and domestic market," said Prof. LI Shaohua, the first accomplisher.
On grounds of the growing demands for high-quality fruits and extended supply time, researchers from IBCAS carried out a series of breeding programs since 1960.
"'Jingxiangyu' displays an attractive Muscat character, and its harvest can be extended for 30-50 days without compromise on quality; 'Jingyan' is the first sunlight-independent coloring grape cultivar reported in the world, as its berry can turn bright red without sunlight," said Prof. FAN Peige, who is responsible for the vine breeding program.
"According to official statistics, their growing areas have increased by more than 400 ha in 10 provinces and autonomous regions in China, which have significant impact on the rapid development of the table grape industry, and made outstanding contributions to the poverty alleviation and prosperity of peasants," said LIANG Zhenchang, principal investigator of GWRG.
'Jingxiangyu' and 'Jingyan'. (Image by IBCAS)
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