Yong-Shi Li, Ching-Hua Mao, Lu Yu-Chi, Ya-Chun Chang
Pitaya (Hylocereus spp.), also called dragon fruit, pitahaya or pitajaya, native to the forests of Latin America, and the West Indies, belongs to the family of Cactaceae. Among the cactus fruit crops, pitaya is classified as the climbing epiphytic species and produces edible fruits which have sweet pulps with numerous small black seeds on the trailing stems. Due to the progress in breeding and cultivation techniques in Taiwan, pitaya is becoming an important fruit crop in the domestic and foreign markets. During a disease survey of pitaya in Taiwan, some plants were found with systemic mild mottling on the stems, and these were found to be infected by a potexvirus, Cactus virus X (CVX). In addition, another two potexviruses Zygocactus virus X (ZyVX) and Pitaya virus X (PiVX), were identified later in Taiwan. Because of the similar features of Cactaceae plants, there is high possibility that cactus-infecting viruses will infect pitaya just like CVX and ZyVX did. The objective of this article is to provide information of viral diseases of pitaya and other Cactaceae plants so as to help further study of pitaya-infecting viruses and propose the control strategy.