Title: TRANSGENIC PAPAYA: A CASE STUDY ON THE THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF VIRUS RESISTANCE
Submitted to: Proceedings of the Tenth International Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 22, 2002
Publication Date: April 22, 2002
Citation: Gonsalves, D. 2002. Transgenic papaya: a case study on the theoretical and practical application of virus resistance. In: Vasil, K. editor. Proceedings of the Tenth International Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology Congress, June 23-28, 2002, Orlando, Florida. p. 115-118.
Interpretive Summary: The paper summarizes a talk on the development, commercialization, and impact of the genetically engineered transgenic papaya that was developed for Hawaii's papaya industry. Due to the invasion of the papaya ringspot virus into Puna district on Hawaii Island in 1992, the papaya industry in Hawaii was close to being devastated by 1995. The virus had spread rapidly throughout Puna, where 95% of the papayas were being grown. Control was not possible because of the lack of resistant cultivars. In 1991, we developed a genetically engineered papaya that was resistant to papaya ringspot virus. Field tests showed that it was resistant and the cultivars 'SunUp' and 'Rainbow' were subsequently developed and released to growers in 1998. These cultivars, especially 'Rainbow', have helped farmers reclaim infected lands and papaya production has increased to 1992 levels. This is a dramatic example of how a biotechnology product has helped to control a severe disease in Hawaii.