In the world kiwifruit industry, there are both green-fleshed and yellow-fleshed kiwifruit in the marketplace (Huang, 2009). The dominant position of the green-fleshed kiwifruit is changing. The green-fleshed kiwifruit, represented by ‘Hayward’, dominate the international kiwifruit market because of good marketability and outstanding storage quality. However, during the past two decades, yellow-fleshed kiwifruit such as ‘Hort16A’ in New Zealand and ‘Jintao’ in China have also been developed. These new yellow-fleshed cultivars are sweeter and more aromatic than ‘Hayward’ and have attracted much attention from consumers. The purchase price for ‘Hort16A’ or ‘Jintao’ is at least 30% higher than that for ‘Hayward’. However, in general, the storage life of yellow-fleshed cultivars is not as good as that of ‘Hayward’. This limited storage life has resulted in considerable fresh fruit losses. Therefore, it is necessary to breed new yellow-fleshed cultivars with long storage and shelf life.
Hybridization, especially interspecific hybridization, is a very important method to develop new kiwifruit cultivars, which can combine the good traits from different species in the genus Actinidia. The hybrid can be intermediate types or types with combinations of the dominant traits of its parents or can even obtain new traits and variation, which the parents do not possess. For example, ‘Kiri’, a selection developed from the hybridization between A. arguta (Sieb. & Zucc.) Planch. ex Miq. and A. chinensis Planch. var. deliciosa Cheval, and backcrossing to A. chinensis var. deliciosa, had large fruit averaging 100 g with smooth and edible fruit skin, resulting in a successful combination of the good traits of A. arguta and A. chinensis var. deliciosa (White and Beatson, 1993). However, its fruit skin was easily damaged and its storage life was short. Unfortunately, up to now, there have been no kiwifruit cultivars arising from interspecific hybridization that are cultivated widely or are important in the kiwifruit industry.
‘Jinyan’, a new yellow-fleshed, late-season kiwifruit cultivar with large fruit size, good taste, and excellent storage quality and shelf life (Fig. 1), was developed by the Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Wang et al., 1989, 1994, 2000). ‘Jinyan’ is the first good kiwifruit cultivar originating from interspecific hybridization in China. This article describes its origin, the cultivar characteristics, and commercialization.
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