Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #231839

Title: Papaya Ringspot Virus

item Gonsalves, Dennis
item TRIPATHI, SAVARNI - University Of Hawaii
item Carr, James
item Suzuki, Jon

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Press On Line Lessons
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2010
Publication Date: 10/29/2010
Citation: Gonsalves, D., Tripathi, S., Carr, J.B., Suzuki, J.Y. 2010. Papaya Ringspot Virus. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI: 10.1094/PHI-I-2010-1004-01. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) causes severe damage to papaya and cucurbits worldwide. The virus is grouped into two biotypes, as defined by their host ranges. PRSV-w infects cucurbits but not papaya, while PRSV-p infects cucurbits and papaya. These viruses are rapidly transmitted in a nonpersistent manner by aphids. Disease management practices such as avoidance, eliminating plants as symptoms develop, growing plants in large net houses, and cross protection have been practiced with varying degrees of success. Resistance to PRSV is not naturally found in papaya. However, PRSV-resistant papaya was developed through genetic engineering and is commercially used in Hawaii. Resistance or tolerance to PRSV-w have been identified in cucurbits and have been transferred to some commercial cultivars.

Technical Abstract: The term papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) was coined by Jensen in 1949, to describe a papaya disease in Hawaii. Later work showed that diseases such as papaya mosaic and watermelon mosaic virus-1 were caused by PRSV. The primary host range of PRSV is papaya and cucurbits, with Chenopium amaranticolor and C. quinoa serving as local lesion hosts. The virus is grouped into the papaya infecting type (PRSV-p) which infects papaya and cucurbits, and the cucurbit infecting type (PRSV-w) which infects cucurbits but not papaya. PRSV belongs to the genus Potyvirus, a large and economically important group of plant infecting viruses in the family Potyviridie. Like potyviruses, PRSV is transmitted in a nonpresistent manner by aphids. Genetically engineered papaya has been used to successfully control PRSV in papaya in Hawaii.