Transgenic virus resistant papaya: from hope to reality for controlling payaya ringspot virus in Hawaii

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Abstract or Summary

Author introduction (with footnotes/references removed):?In 1992, Hawaii?s papaya industry faced a potential economic disaster when Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) was discovered in the Puna district of Hawaii island where 95% of the state?s papaya was grown. By 1995, PRSV was widespread in Puna and the industry was in a crisis situation. Fortunately, our research had resulted in the development of a transgenic papaya that was resistant to PRSV; in fact, an initial field trial of the transgenic papaya was established on Oahu island at about the time PRSV was discovered in Puna. An APSnet Feature published in 1998 described the ensuing damage caused by PRSV in Puna and the timely efforts to develop, evaluate, and deregulate the transgenic papaya. SunUp and Rainbow cultivars were developed from the initial field trial and showed excellent resistance and horticultural qualities in the large scale field trial in Puna. The cultivars were commercially released in May 1998, six years to the month after PRSV was discovered in Puna. The 1998 APSnet Feature was appropriately titled "Transgenic Virus Resistant Papaya: New Hope for Control of Papaya Ringspot Virus in Hawaii." The industry was full of hope then, but it remained to be seen whether the transgenic papaya would translate this hope to a reality. Six years have transpired since the commercialization of the transgenic papaya. In this article, we describe the successful performance of the transgenic papaya in Hawaii, its impact, and challenges facing Hawaii?s papaya industry. A subsequent APSnet Feature will provide details on research done to document the adoption of the transgenic papaya by farmers soon after it was released.?

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