Flower development in 'BH-65' papaya grown in plastic greenhouses in south-east Spain

I. Salinas, J.J. Hueso, J. Cuevas
Papaya is a fruit crop originating from Central America and Mexico, where the climate allows its cultivation in the open field. Nowadays, papaya is also increasingly planted in subtropical areas under protected cultivation. Papaya is trioecious, having male, female and hermaphrodite individuals. The latter are preferred commercially, although they produce flowers with different alterations, such as pentandric and carpelloid flowers producing non-commercial fruits. The objective of this work was to analyze the seasonal incidence of flower alterations depending on the planting date of 'BH-65' grown under a plastic greenhouse. We compared the frequency of such alterations in seedlings transplanted in summer, autumn and spring. Seasonal analyses of flower buds under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were also performed for the transplantation carried out in summer. The results showed a higher frequency of alterations in plants transplanted in summer, with almost no incidence in plants transplanted in autumn and spring. SEM analyses showed an early failure in flower development. Flower buds 2 mm long had features leading to the formation of pentandric and carpelloid flowers. We conclude that 'BH-65' is prone to production of a great number of malformed flowers under protected cultivation, unless measures are taken to alleviate the harsh climate inside the greenhouse.
Salinas, I., Hueso, J.J. and Cuevas, J. (2019). Flower development in 'BH-65' papaya grown in plastic greenhouses in south-east Spain. Acta Hortic. 1250, 187-192
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1250.26
Carica papaya, protected cultivation, pentandric flowers, carpelloid flowers

Acta Horticulturae