Papaya Ringspot Virus Resistant (PRSVR) Papaya

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The Papaya Ringspot Virus Resistant (PRSVR) Papaya is a genetically engineered papaya.

PRSVR Papaya in Hawaii

PRSVR Papaya in the Philippines

Creation and commercialization of a PRSVR Papay in the Philippines is a project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP) II.[1] With the technology already commercialized in Hawaii, a partnership of Philippine public institutions, Monsanto and the Malaysian Agricultural Research Development Institute engineered the virus resistance trait into a local Filipino variety of papaya. "ABSPII builds on the work started by the Philippine government by contributing critical support to the project to see it through the final field trial stage."[1]

The project's goals include not just increasing the supply of papaya in the Philippines, but also introducing biotechnology to the Philippines. The ABSP II website lists project benefits as:[1]

  • "Support the field testing of the first locally developed public sector biotech crop for small-scale farmers to be developed by a Philippine research and development (R&D) institution. This will serve as a precedent for future projects in the country that apply similar technology to producing new food crops, particularly crops for small-scale and resource-limited farmers.
  • "Enhanced capacity in biotechnology regulations with the first transgenic fruit tree serving as a crop model to test various guidelines and procedures within the national biosafety framework
  • "Build capacities on biotechnology research, outreach and science communication of collaborating Philippine institutions"

Project Timeline

As of January 2007:

Indonesia and Philippines Approve Confined Trials of Biotechnology Crops:[2]

"The National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) approved the proposal for the conduct of the confined trial of the Papaya Ringspot Virus (PRSV) - resistant papaya during its meeting on December 19, 2006. The confined trial will be undertaken in accordance with the procedures and conditions set by the NCBP. The confined trial of the PRSV-resistant papayas will be conducted in NCBP-approved fenced/regulated-access experimental plots in the Institute of Plant Breeding at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna (IPB-UPLB).
"IPB-UPLB supported by various partners (Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, ABSPII) has developed advanced, purelines of highly promising PRSV-resistant papayas. The PRSV-resistant papaya is a papaya that is genetically engineered to express the coat protein (CP) gene taken from the Philippine strain of papaya ringspot virus (Bulacan isolate). It is essential that IPB-UPLB’s PRSV- resistant papayas be evaluated further for their horticultural performance and efficacy against PRSV infection."

FSBR Eggplant and PRSV-Resistant Papaya Projects in the Philippines Gain Support from USAID/Philippine Mission:[3]

The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSPII)-supported biotech crops in the Philippines are well on its way into the next stages of product development and commercialization. USAID/Philippines has joined ABSPII and its partners in the Philippines to provide support to meet the regulatory requirements for field trial and commercial release of FSBR eggplant and PRSV papaya. It is well-known that the costs of meeting regulatory requirements comprise the major expense in biotech crops product development, and regulation compliance can be daunting for most public sector biotech products. USAID/Philippines financial assistance is being provided through the Economic Modernization through Efficient Reforms and Governance Enhancement (EMERGE) project administered by CARANA Corporation and through ISAAA ("
"At present these papayas are under contained greenhouse evaluation... It is essential that these advanced materials be grown in the field for necessary assessment and evaluation of efficacy and variety performance, and assessed for biosafety/food safety before they can be successfully deployed for commercial use by farmers and consumers."

Significance of Papaya in the Philippines

"Papaya is a very important fruit crop in the Philippines. In 2007, papaya ranked 6th in the area planted (9,500 has) and 5th in volume produced (164,000 tons), next only to banana, pineapple, mango and citrus. Papaya production is widely dispersed, grown mostly by backyard-scale growers. About 80% of all papaya growers have less than 3 hectares. Most of the production area is located in Southern Tagalog region, in the main island of Luzon, which has been under quarantine because of the PRSV disease that effectively wiped-out the papaya industry in the main island.
"The papaya is used in many ways in the Philippines, 92% of the total papaya production is consumed locally as food. An additional 6% is either exported for food or used for industrial applications. While the country was able to generate an average of US$ 1.33M/yr from 1996-2000, papaya export has been very erratic. An emerging market for papaya is the cosmetics industry. Papaya extracts are used as special ingredients in soaps, shampoos and other cosmetics."[1]

Project Manager and Partners

Project Manager: Desiree Hautea, Regional Coordinator, Southeast Asia[1]


Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 PAPAYA RINGSPOT VIRUS RESISTANT (PRSVR) PAPAYA, Accessed October 13, 2011.
  2. "Indonesia and Philippines Approve Confined Trials of Biotechnology Crops," Newsletter of the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II, Volume 3, Number 1, January 2007, Accessed October 14, 2011.
  3. "FSBR Eggplant and PRSV-Resistant Papaya Projects in the Philippines Gain Support from USAID/Philippine Mission," Newsletter of the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II, Volume 3, Number 1, January 2007, Accessed October 14, 2011.

External Resources

External Articles