Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Passion Fruit Varieties

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

4.6.2017 : Dena 428 ‘Ripens during summer’ - a new variety of the Passion Dream cultivar - bares sweet, exotic flavored fruit that remains on the vine when ripened, providing a continuous flow of produce throughout most of the year.
Project ID : 8-2010-2368

Description of the technology


New passion-fruit cultivar bears fruit that remain on the vine

'Dena' - a new purple passionfruit cultivar that flowers even during hot summers, yields sweet, exotic-flavored, out-of-season fruit that remains on the vine for several weeks after ripening



Passionfruit, Passiflora edulis, plant breeding, warm temperature flower abscission, fruit abscission, ethylene, postharvest storage, out-of-season fruit.

Development Stage

Pre-clinical proof of concept and initial results


Plant breeders' rights submitted


Innovation summary

We have developed a new, purple, sweet, exotic flavoredpassionfruit cultivar named 'Dena', previously known as line '428' or ‘Ripens during summer’ (RS), offering farmers an easy solution for extending their fresh-produce supply period.


Most other passionfruit cultivars grown in the Mediterranean region flower twice a year –  in spring and in autumn, yielding ripe fruit within 2-3 months –  in summer and in winter. However, because the fruit abscises when ripe, each fruit ripening and falling at a different time, farmers are required to revisit each vine every 1-2 days to collect newly abscised fruit for fresh consumption.


By contrast, 'Dena' vines, in addition to blooming in spring and in autumn, flower also in the summer at very high temperatures. Moreover, when the fruits ripen and are ready to eat, they do not abscise, enabling farmers to control harvest times based on their resources and marketing preferences. Accordingly, the marketing season can be extended, for example, by selecting a different row each week, and picking all the fruit in that row.


Additionally, published research on mice suggests that a dietary supplement of 'Dena' fruit may provide important health benefits for neurodegenerative diseases.




'Dena' 428 (RS) - the new cultivar ofPassiflora edulis Sims was selected from a population of 900 seedlings originating from self-fertilized seeds of the Israeli cultivar 'Passion Dream' (PD). The PD cultivar is considered an F1 hybrid of flavicarpa (yellow peel), and edulis (purple peel) passionfruit. Propagation of this cultivar is by vegetative cuttings. When grown on its own roots, 'Dena' growth rate is relatively low. However, when grafted onto vigorous rootstocks, it shows a high growth rate.


The peel color of 'Dena' fruit is darker purple as compared to PD fruit. PD and other cultivar fruit produces ethylene during ripening, whereas ethylene production in 'Dena' fruit is suppressed, which is most likely the reason that the fruit does not abscise (Seehttp://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf203313r).



  • Ripened fruit remains on the vine – easy planning of harvest and production
  • Summer flowering can withstand hot climates
  • Rich in antioxidants, high bio-activity – potentially inhibits neurodegenerative diseases
  • Protected by the PBR (Plant Breeders Rights)  


Development milestones

  • The study of 'Dena' and other passionfruit cultivarsispart of a more extensive research on environmental signals that cause flower abortion in Passiflora edulis.
  • The plan is to test 'Dena' – when planted outside of Israel for the first time ever.
  • ‘Dena’ extract was tested successfully on neuron cultures, and provided as a food supplement to mice in a mice model for Parkinson's disease, showing great potential in decreasing disease symptoms (Seehttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464616000955).




  • Supermarkets and other fresh produce distributors
  • Juice and beverage manufacturers
  • Provides farmers and growers with vegetative cuttings for grafting onto local rootstocks.

Researcher information:http://departments.agri.huji.ac.il/plantscience/people/Alon_Samach/



Project manager

Amichai Baron
VP, Head of Business Development, Agritech & Envir

Project researchers

Alon Samach
HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences
Plant Sciences and Genetics

Related keywords

  • Agro chemicals
  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural genetic engineering applications
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products
  • agriculture

About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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