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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Research Project #437282

Research Project: Preharvest and Postharvest Technologies to Improve Production, Disease Management and Quality of Papaya and Other Tropical Fruit

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Project Number: 2040-22430-027-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

The overall goal of the project is to develop research and technology that address key challenges throughout the production and postharvest system for papaya, pineapples, and other tropical fruit. Specific objectives are to: 1) Develop genetic resistance or biologically-based disease management for papayas and other tropically-grown fruit; 2) Develop new fruit varieties with improved shelf-life and quality; 3) Develop novel methods to improve postharvest quality of tropical fruit; 4) Identify value-added uses for fruit waste to improve the economic viability of tropical fruit production.

The research team consisting of faculty and researchers from the University of Hawaii (UH) and the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) with expertise in papaya and other fruit breeding, plant pathology, genetics, and postharvest physiology will develop an achievable action plan to accomplish the objectives. The papaya transcriptome will be analyzed during fruit ripening for impact on fruit diseases. Virus resistance will be transferred into slow ripening papaya lines. The pineapple transcriptome will be evaluated for sequence data related to sugar and acid metabolism, and flower induction. Jasmonic acid and nitric acid will be evaluated for postharvest use to delay ripening. Environmental and physiological mechanisms for pineapple translucency will be determined. New technologies to transfer virus resistance into tropical fruit will be developed. The preharvest and postharvest systems for minor tropical fruit crops will be evaluated for factors that limit production or quality. Value-added uses or processing methods will be identified for select tropical fruits to reduce food waste and/or extend storage life.