Australian papaya industry communication program (PP16001)
Status: New project
Key research provider: Cox Inall Communications
What’s it all about? Established in September, this new program is responsible for keeping Australian papaya growers and other industry stakeholders informed about key industry issues and the latest R&D and marketing activities and results in a timely way. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the uptake of new information, technologies and practices – in turn helping growers forge more productive, profitable and resilient businesses.
What’s the latest update? Once in full swing, the program will produce and maintain key communication channels, including…
- A new biannual magazine, Papaya Press, which will be sent as a hard copy to the Papaya Australia database and will also be available to access online. The first edition is due to be released in the first months of 2018.
- The industry-facing section of the www.australianpapaya.com.au website.
Tropical fruit export strategy (MT17002)
Status: New project
Key research provider: McKINNA et al
What’s it all about? This short multi-industry project will support the building of sustainable export markets and supply chain capabilities for a range of tropical commodities, including papaya, banana, lychee, passionfruit and persimmon. It has been tasked with developing a collective export strategy for these fruits – a road map for growing export markets, underpinned by information on each high-prospect market for each fruit category.
What’s the latest update? This investment was contracted by Hort Innovation in November. Look for information on the completed strategy in future editions of Hortlink and in industry channels.
New genetic targets to improve quality in papaya (PP15000)
Status: Ongoing project
Key research provider: Griffith University
What’s it all about? With a focus on improving the quality of Australian papaya and producing elite, uniform cultivars, this project began in 2016 to assist breeding now and in the near-future, and to support industry development. It has five key sub-projects:
- Breeding to improve flavour and other important traits in commercial papaya
- Collection of papaya germplasm and the development of a related database, to provide a resource to increase the genetic base of Australian papaya
- Molecular studies to assist breeding for papaya
- Papaya ringspot virus type P (PRSV-P) resistance work
- The employment of an industry development officer (IDO), who is responsible for carrying out the other sub-project work and for working closely with growers, researchers and other industry stakeholders.
What’s the latest update? While no official project update was due to Hort Innovation in the period since the last Hortlink, at the time of last reporting a new publication created by the project, the Handbook of Papaya Evaluation: Productivity and Fruit Quality Traits, had been released, and remains available for industry use. The handbook represents the development of a standard, reliable protocol for growers, breeders and researchers to evaluate papaya tree productivity and fruit quality. It includes easy-reference images and information describing key traits, and how to measure them.
Look for an update in future editions but, as per the last Hortlink, a quick outline of other ongoing work in the project:
- In regard to breeding, the project continues to work towards producing red and yellow papaya with improved eating qualities and fruit yield, adapted to multiple growing regions. In February 2016, a number of yellow papaya breeding lines were planted, with superior selections since identified for further evaluation. With red papaya, there are plantings of elite selections at multiple locations, that are set to be evaluated for quality traits at set intervals over the season.
- The collection and evaluation of germplasm of commercial papaya varieties from Australia and other countries has occurred, and there has been field planting of germinated seeds from this material. The trees are to be evaluated for fruit quality and yield traits, to determine varietal performance at each trial location. At the time of last reporting, more seeds were being sourced from Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Hawaii.
- In molecular studies, the project team is seeking to identify genes related to traits of key importance in papaya breeding. Here, sweetness – as core component of flavour – has been selected for study, with the team continuing mapping and identifying genes related to the expression of sugars in varieties of the fruit.
- In working towards improving RSVP-P resistance, crossing work has attempted to transfer traits from disease-resistant germplasm to new papaya crosses, which are planted for evaluation at Griffith University. As reported in earlier Hortlinks, work to evaluate these plants after inoculation with the virus continues.
- In regards to industry development work, IDO Chat Kanchana-udomkan most recently facilitated the Papaya Field Day & Technology Day 2017, held during September in Mareeba.
Download the Handbook of Papaya Evaluation here. For questions relating to the project or to engage with papaya industry’s IDO, contact Chat Kanchana-udomkan at email@example.com or on 0459 494 383.
Papaya industry minor use program (PP16000)
Status: Ongoing project
Key research provider: Hort Innovation
What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the papaya industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up to our membership program for free here.