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Apr 23, 2008

Hawaii Papaya Genome Sequence Completed, Results in Virus Resistant GM Papaya

GM Papaya
Photo courtesy of
Plant Sciences,
University of
California - Davis
Scientists at the Hawaii Papaya Genome Project have published in Nature that it has sucessfully sequenced the papaya genome.  This is the fifth plant genome to be completed.  This genome was used to develop the gene modified (GM) papaya 'SunUp'. 

Papaya is Hawaii's fifth largest agricultural crop.  The GM "SunUp" papaya is genetically modified by Cornell University scientists to be virus resistant to the papaya ringspot virus, which decimated Hawaii’s crops in the 1990s.

Data from the papaya genome assist "in designing field-based assays to differentiate hermaphroditic plants from female ones — a task that currently takes farmers three to four months of cultivation to achieve. Farmers prefer the hermaphroditic plants for easier pollination."

For more see:  Borrell, Brendan. "Papaya genome project bears fruit: Hawaiian researchers aim to help transgenic crop gain a bigger market," Nature, 23 April 2008.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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