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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Virus-Resistant Transgenic Papaya

Author
item Gonsalves, Dennis

Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 19, 2003
Publication Date: April 1, 2004
Citation: Gonsalves, D. 2004. Virus-resistant transgenic papaya. California Agriculture. 58(2):92-93.

Interpretive Summary: This article provides a brief recap of the transgenic papaya story for Hawaii. Briefly, in 1992 papaya ringspot virus was discovered in the Puna district of Hawaii Island where 95% of the state' papaya crop was being grown. Within two years, the papaya ringspot virus had spread throughout most of Puna, causing severe damage. Genetically engineered papaya was developed and shown to be resistant to the virus in 1991. Efforts to test the transgenic papaya in the fields, to deregulate the transgenic papaya, and to commercialize it were successful, with the transgenic 'Rainbow' and 'SunUp' cultivars being commercialized in 1998. These papaya are widely grown and have helped to save the industry from destruction by the virus.

Technical Abstract: Papaya ringspot virus is an important disease of papaya worldwide. In 1992 papaya ringspot virus was discovered in the Puna district of Hawaii Island where 95% of the state' papaya crop was being grown. Within two years, the papaya ringspot virus had spread throughout most of Puna, causing severe damage. Genetically engineered papaya was developed and shown to be resistant to the virus in 1991. Efforts to test the transgenic papaya in the fields, to deregulate the transgenic papaya, and to commercialize it were successful, with the transgenic 'Rainbow' and 'SunUp' cultivars being commercialized in 1998. These papaya are widely grown and have helped to save the industry from destruction by the virus.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014