Passion-Fruit Cultivar '428' (Dena) - Fruit Remain on The Vine After Ripening

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


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 flavored passionfruit 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 of Passiflora 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 (See http://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 cultivars is part 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 (See http://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.  


Contact for more information:

Amichai Baron
VP, Head of Business Development, Agritech & Envir
Contact ME: