Papaya (Carica papaya L.) micro-propagation and breeding

L.C. Navarro, V. Pétiard, S. Tanksley, A. Casa, B. Moreno, S. Quiroga, E. Espinosa, J. Fenyvesi
AGROMOD S.A. de C.V. ( and NSIP (Nature Source Improved Plants; are related companies dedicated to papaya fruit production, and plant propagation and breeding, respectively. In 1997, AGROMOD Productos Frescos Division started to produce papaya ‘Maradol’ fruits with sustained growth in cultivated surface and productivity as well as important improvements in fruit quality, reaching production of more than 50,000 tons per year to supply the Mexican and North American markets. An important part of all production is dedicated for export. The production farms are situated in the state of Chiapas in the south of Mexico. At the same time, AGROMOD In Vitro Division started to construct an infrastructure for plant propagation using tissue culture techniques. Since then, the In Vitro Division has installed three laboratories (organogenesis, embryogenesis and tissue culture R&D) and 6 ha of greenhouses and nurseries producing 10 million plants per year (agave, banana, plantain, coffee) and created a department for papaya breeding (2010). In November 2016, AGROMOD In Vitro began a strategic joint venture and merged with NSG (Nature Source Genetics) to create NSIP with two divisions, Genomics (Ithaca, NY, USA) and In Vitro (Tapachula, Mexico). For papaya micro-propagation and breeding, three main goals have been achieved: 1) the development of a clonal micro-propagation methodology through organogenesis, producing true-to-type, 100% hermaphrodite, virus-free and homogeneous (experimental, pilot and scaling) plants; 2) a collection of 600 papaya accessions, genetically characterized (genotyping by sequencing); 3) a strategic papaya breeding plan based on genomics, computational algorithms and statistics. A core collection (genotyped and phenotyped) representing 95% of the variability of the entire population has been defined. After setting the objectives for breeding (design of specifications) and taking advantage of the tremendous amount of available data, optimized breeding starts for specific traits have been designed towards the creation of new hybrids. In this presentation, an essential part of this work is exposed, showing recent progress.
Navarro, L.C., Pétiard, V., Tanksley, S., Casa, A., Moreno, B., Quiroga, S., Espinosa, E. and Fenyvesi, J. (2019). Papaya (Carica papaya L.) micro-propagation and breeding. Acta Hortic. 1250, 165-172
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1250.23
papaya, Carica papaya L., micro-propagation, organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis, breeding, hybrid, clone

Acta Horticulturae