Papaya Ringspot Virus

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.38.39 PMPapaya ringspot virus (PRSV) is a pathogenic plant virus in the genus Potyvirus and the virus family Potyviridae. It is transmitted between plants by mechanical activities like pruning and by numerous aphid species such as Myzus persicae.

Hawaiian papaya production has been severely affected twice by Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV)The virus was introduced to Oahu as early as 1937. The disease was mild for a number of years until it either mutated or a more aggressive strain was introduced around 1950. Within 12 years, the amount of land under papaya production dropped 94%. Production was then moved from Oahu to the Puna region of Hawaii island (the “Big Island”) under strict quarantine. In 1971 PRSV was found in home gardens but efforts were taken to prevent its spread. The virus emerged in commercial farms in 1992 and by 1995 production in Puna was impossible. Commercial growers again relocated to the Hamakua coast but with only limited success. Hawaiian papaya production was halved by the end of the decade. Transgenic papaya varieties that are resistant to PRSV entered production in 1998 and resuscitated the industry. *Click here to view Wikipedia source.

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