Taiwan is establishing a database to compile a comprehensive pool of predicted molecular markers for moth orchids to prevent future variety rights disputes, a local researcher said yesterday.
“Now, with mature technology and a standard operating procedure, we are sure we can establish a 200-variety database by the end of the year,” said Chang Hui-ju (張惠如), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station.
There are about 400 moth orchid varieties grown in Taiwan, Chang said.
The Council of Agriculture’s Taichung-based station has been working on the technology for the past three years and it has been in close contact with a counterpart in the Netherlands, Chang said.
All living organisms have genetic molecular markers and such analysis allows plant breeding programs to be more efficient, she said, adding that the station is also planning to apply the technology to other plants.
Orchids are one of Taiwan’s most important agricultural exports. The nations’ flower exports totaled US$194.56 million last year, up 10 percent year-on-year, according to government statistics.
Sales of Oncidium orchids showed the biggest annual increase of 25 percent, reaching US$18.44 million, while sales of moth orchids increased 16 percent to a record high of US$114.12 million last year, the statistics show.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by