Summary: Transgenic Papaya Genome Sequenced http://www.genomeweb.com/issues/news/146481-1.html?type=pf
1 of 2 4/27/2008 7:12 PM
Transgenic Papaya Genome Sequenced
April 23, 2008
By a GenomeWeb staff reporter
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) In a paper that made the cover of tomorrow's issue of Nature, an international
team of researchers report sequencing the first papaya genome.
The sequence -- generated from a transgenic papaya -- provides insights into the genetic basis of the plant's
resistance to some microbial pests and into the properties that separate papaya from other flowering plants. In
addition, researchers say, the detailed genetic information may help alleviate the fears of those opposed to transgenic
After pineapple, papaya is Hawaii's second largest fruit crop. In the 1990's, though, a devastating virus called the
papaya ringspot virus slashed papaya harvests in that state. Scientists at the US Department of Agriculture, the
University of Hawaii, Cornell University, and elsewhere created a genetically modified papaya -- resistant to the
papaya ringspot virus -- by introducing some of the pathogen's genetic information into the papaya.
These genetically modified papaya plants were introduced as crop plants in Hawaii in the mid-1990s and fruit from
these plants is currently marketed in the mainland US and Canada. Nevertheless, some countries have resisted the
genetically modified papaya citing concerns over the effect the genetic alterations might have.
In an effort to get to the bottom of papaya genetics and the effect of transgenic modifications, the International Papaya
Genome Consortium sequenced a red-fleshed transgenic papaya variety called SunUp. The collaboration involved