Genetically modified Papaya

By: Muzda Najibuddin

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History of the genetically modified papaya

In the 1960's a Hawaii industry formed in Oahu. After a couple of years a virus called the PRSV started infecting the trees. The trees that papayas were growing on started to die, they started to show the symptoms of the PRSV. The industry then relocated into the Puna Region but after a couple of decades, the virus reappeared.Farmers tired their best to stop the virus. They relocated the trees, and started using insecticides but the virus kept coming back. After this papaya virus outbreak this motivated scientists to research and develop the "rainbow papaya" the rainbow papaya is resistant to the ring-spot virus (GMO answers,2013)

What is PRSV?

PRSV stands for Papaya Ringspot Virus. This virus affects papayas and other cucurbits (melon, pumpkin, squash, and cucumber). When the cucurbits are infected they develop harmful symptoms such as, dark rings, bumps,streaks on the leaf and bad taste. Aphids known as plant lice helps transmit the papaya virus tree to tree feeding on tree sap (Gonsalves, DS.Tripathi,2010)

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How is your organism genetically modified?

In the 1980's, the scientists created a genetic material made up of a PRSV gene and an antibiotic gene.This was called the rainbow papaya.

What is the main purpose for the creation of your genetically modified organism?

The main purpose for this creation was in the 1990s, Hawaiian papaya trees were infested with the ring-spot virus. No cure was found on how to stop the virus so in 1998 scientists created something called rainbow papaya which is resistant to the virus.
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Advantages: To society and environment

Advantages to society

  1. You don't have to worry about the ring-spot virus.
  2. Spend less money producing more food
  3. Saved the papaya industry

Advantages to environment

  1. Your using fewer pesticides and herbicides
  2. You don't have to remove weeds or anything when they grow in the soil, you are saving your soil (Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D., 2013)

Risks: To society and environment

Risks: To society and environment

Risks to society

  1. By scientists creating this gm papaya, papaya farmers lost half of their jobs, they have no job anymore because of what the scientists created.
  2. Safety not tested in long term for what it will do to our bodies
  3. It may have long term effects on consumers. (W.H.O, 2015)

Risks to environment

  1. Disrupts food chains
  2. environmental groups and health organizations believe that genetically modified papayas could be harmful to consumers in the long term (W.H.O, YEAR).

References/ Sources

(october 8). 5 suprising genetically modified .Retrieved 2015 from

(october 8). Papaya|Hawai’I SEED. Retrieved 2015 from

(october 12). Papaya- GMO Database. Retrieved 2015 from

(october 12). How to choose a Papaya that’s not genetically modified. Retrieved 2015 from

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The ring-spot virus

The ringspot virus causes ring shaped spots

on infected papayas.

Picture below

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About Papaya and how its genetically modified ------^

How Are GMOs Created?
How to know which papaya is GMO?