Submitted to: Agbioforum
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2004
Publication Date: 10/1/2004
Citation: Gonsalves, D. 2004. Transgenic papaya in Hawaii and beyond. Agbioforum. Vol. 4:36-40. Interpretive Summary: This article provides a summary of the transgenic papaya work in Hawaii and our efforts in developing countries such as Thailand, Jamaica, Brazil, and Venezuela. The transgenic papaya work is used as a model for the effectiveness of biotechnology to control important virus problems in a crop, and how technology can be developed outside of large multinational companies. This article should be of interest to non-scientists.
Technical Abstract: Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) is often a limiting factor in the production of papaya worldwide. In 1992, PRSV was discovered in the district of Puna on Hawaii island where 95% of Hawaii's papaya was grown. Within two years, PRSV was widespread and causing severe damage to the papaya in that area. Coincidentally, a field trial to test a PRSV-resistant transgenic papaya had started in 1992, and by 1995 the 'Rainbow' and 'SunUp' transgenic cultivars had been developed. These cultivars were commercialized in 1998 and 'Rainbow' is now widely planted and has helped to save the papaya industry from devastation by PRSV. Transgenic papaya have also been developed for other countries, such as Thailand, Jamaica, Brazil, and Venezuela. Efforts to have these papaya deregulated in these countries are ongoing.