New genetic targets to improve quality in papaya (PP15000)
What was it all about?
With a focus on improving the quality of Australian papaya and producing elite, uniform cultivars, this investment began in 2016 to assist breeding now and in the near future, and to support industry development. It ended during 2018, and had five key sub-projects…
- Breeding to improve flavour and other important traits in commercial papaya. Here, the work developed advanced breeding lines of red and yellow papaya that outperform industry standard varieties in many key agronomic and fruit quality traits, including setting fruit lower on the tree for ease of harvest, higher and consistent yields, and sweeter fruit. These new lines have had initial evaluation across trial sites in key growing regions.
- Collection and evaluation of papaya germplasm, and the development of a related genetic material database to provide a resource to increase the genetic base of Australian papaya.
- Molecular studies to assist breeding for papaya, which helped pinpoint the location of genes related to sweetness and other traits including fruit firmness, flesh thickness, skin freckle and fruit size. This is the foundation for the development of molecular trait selection tools for breeders.
- Papaya ringspot virus type P (PRSV-P) resistance work, looking at transferring traits from disease-resistant germplasm to new papaya crosses. This is a step forward in creating superior, resistant varieties.
- The employment of an industry development officer (IDO), responsible for carrying out the other sub-project work and for working closely with growers, researchers and other industry stakeholders.
This investment also released the Handbook of Papaya Evaluation during 2017. The handbook represented the development of a standard, reliable protocol for growers, breeders and researchers to evaluate papaya tree productivity and fruit quality. Including easy-reference images and information describing key traits, and how to measure them, you can download the resource here.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Papaya Fund
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