Field performance of selected papaya hybrids for tolerance to dieback disease

Parent Category: 2020

H. Mohd Azhar, S. Johari1, J. Nur Sulastri, M. Razali, M.R. Muhammad Zulfa, G. Noor Faimah and A.R. Mariatulqabtiah


Papaya (Carica papaya) is one of the most important export fruits in Malaysia, producing 78,000 metric tonnes in 2003. However, the two cultivars commonly grown in Malaysia, namely, Sekaki and Eksotika, are very susceptible to papaya dieback disease, resulting in a reduced production to approximately 31,000 metric tonnes in 2013. Breeding for resistance varieties and hybrids is the best long-term sustainable measure to overcome this problem. MARDI initiated a breeding programme for developing papayas with resistance to dieback disease. Ten papaya F1 hybrid seeds were developed via crossing within six elite parents, which were found resistant to papaya dieback disease or had high qualities. These hybrids were tested over ‘hot-spot’ disease locations at MARDI Serdang, Selangor, to evaluate their field tolerance, fruit characteristics and plant performance. Hybrid I (Viorica x P15), Hybrid C (P15 x Dwarica), Hybrid J (Viorica x Dwarica) and Hybrid D (Viorica x Eksotika) appeared to be the most well-balanced hybrids with the best disease tolerance character, high yield and total soluble solids (TSS) and optimum plant height. Hybrid I was found to be the most promising hybrid in terms of high tolerance level (1.6 out of 5.0), high yield (39.9 kg/plant), high TSS (12.1%) and moderate plant height.

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