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Sweet cold hardy Papayas...can it be done?

Sweet cold hardy Papayas...can it be done?

I think i asked this before. But why can't Jeff use the pollen from his tropical papaya and cross it with Axel's babaco?..if they do not flower at the same time could the pollen be frozen to time it just right?

The following thread was started by Stan on August 21, 2006 at 10:23 am PST

Stan, seems that Ben and Jason down under has talked about this before, hopefully they will see this post.

Seems like there was unpalatability issues, that the resulting seeds were sterile or something, and ????.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on August 21, 2006 at 10:48 am PST.

Yep, it's complex

I'll let Ben explain, but babaco wont make seeds unless it's grafted onto something fertile (I think genes can cross the graft) this is all cutting edge stuff so again I'll wait for Ben to tell you the story because he is right there on the edge :).

As far as I'm concerned the ideal cross would be quercifolia x babaco as quercifloia tastes much like tropical papaya but is really too small to eat and babaco is huge and both grow and ripen in the cold

The above followup was added by Jason on August 21, 2006 at 11:22 am PST.

TR Hovey

One Strange thing about the cool hardy type that I have ... TR Hovey is that there are no male/female flowers... A flower opens and there is already a small fruit inside... the petal drop off and the fruit grows.
Which may explain why there was no seeds inside the fruit.


The above followup was added by Jeff on August 21, 2006 at 11:53 am PST.

science vs faith


I'm just pursuing my observations against the evidence of conventional science. I belive that rootstocks influence scion genetics. So a Hass avo. will produce slightly different fruit opn differnt r/s for example. This to me is self-evidentally the case, but the scince says that the scion remains genetically pure regardless. I have talked to apple breeders who say that they use clonal r/s because variability is so huge in fruit from identical scions on differeng r/s that even a green apple can turn red etc.

So I am not a cutting edge researcher as Jason suggests, but instead a hobbyist pursuing an impossible dream!

What i am currently doing is using babaco fruit as a female parent fro a male papaya grafted onto babaco roots. I noticed that the papaya had babaco shaped leaves when it was first grafted. It has flowered, last year it had all female flowers, this year they were all male. I took the male pollen and hand pollinated as many bababco flowers as I could.

Since then, we have had the coldest winter in 70 years, and all the babacos look very sad. Very bad for any potential embryos in there, on the unlikely chance any actually pollianted. Then several of the babacos got their tops blown off in a wind storm, but only the ones with hand-pollinated flowers whihc had immature fruit. Very annoying. Then my grafted papaya died.

So I am now in the situation of hoping that I have some hybrid seed forming in the remaining 30 or so hand-pollinated fruit, which is unlikely. If there is, I will attempt to germainte using GA.

But what I am more interested in now is growing tropicals under GH film, and hybridising vasconcelleas instead.

The above followup was added by Ben on August 21, 2006 at 5:02 pm PST.

gene splicing..

When will they use that to produce new plants?..I'm sure you read of the glow in the dark zebra danio fish created by gene splicing-and illegal to buy in California.Own a glow in the dark fish,go to jail!
So,why are not close familys of tropicals and there temperate relatives plants are not combined ?i dont know why such easy work isnt done The cure for Papaya ring virus was from using recombinant DNA. So,how hard to make a cold tolerant Papaya?

The above followup was added by Stan on August 21, 2006 at 8:24 pm PST.

It's also my dream! :-)

I was looking for the same dream in the discussion "There will never be a good variety of subtropical Papaya for us?".

It was evident that the "State of the Art" was the TR Hovey papaya. But it seems we have to wait they came again in production.
What I ask to myself is: does anybody know if TR Hovey was derived from a special cross..or something else experiment or manipulation...or only just a result of nature opera?

The above followup was added by Francesco on August 22, 2006 at 0:02 am PST.
GE modified fruits


It will happen one day, especially when the technique becomes more widespread and within the reach of small companies. At present, I think it is way too expensive, laborious and chancy for anyone to bother to create cold tolerant versions of tropical fruits.
It is also not even clear if those new fruits will be accepted by the public. In Europe, genetically altered foods are strongly shunned by the public.

Besides, imported fruit from tropical regions is no more expensive than temperate fruits imported from the southern hemisphere. Here, apples and grapes from Chile cost the same
than papayas imported from Brazil. It is trade barriers in the USA that prevent tropical fruits from coming in - certainly not price.

The above followup was added by abiu(.pt) on August 22, 2006 at 1:56 am PST.

Most fruit flowers have little fruits attached to the female parts

I have noticed that in papayas, they are much large in most other fruits. I see the same thing with my Oak Leaf Papayas. LIttle miniature papayas in the female flowers. They hang on for awhile and size up a little, but then if not pollinated, eventual drop.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on August 22, 2006 at 9:55 am PST.

G.E. glow in the dark tobbaco...

True,i had forgotten but when abui mentioned them i remembered trying to get from them one of there tobbaco plants that they had enplanted firefly DNA. The result was a glow in the dark tobbaco plant.Why that? i dont know.

The above followup was added by Stan on August 22, 2006 at 12:50 am PST.


This is an interesting thread. Babacao (just planted one in my front yard) is from everything I have read, the textbook definition of Parthenocarpic.

The above followup was added by JoshuaLayne on August 22, 2006 at 6:11 pm PST.

The interesting aspect of this, and of note with relation to the grafting experiments alluded to above is that plant hormone levels can influence the production (or lack thereof) of parthenogenic fruit.

The above followup was added by JoshuaLayne on August 22, 2006 at 6:16 pm PST.


The hormone balance in the 'tropical' papaya is influencing the production of
non-parthenogenic (and therfore seeded if fertilized) fruit on the babacao.)
This is all armchair research, but I am fairly certain that you could get the
same effect (seed production in babacao) by external application of hormones to
the flowers. Based solely on the wikipedia article above, it looks like Auxins
can trigger parthenocarpy in non-parthenocarpic fruit.
Traditionally, the antagonists of auxins are cytokinins, but gibberellins could
also potentially be involved, I think it is unlikely that Abscissic Acid is
involved in this, but that is a gut feeling only.

Most (if not all) of these plant hormones can be obtained commercially, mixed
in water in a spray bottle and sprayed directly on the plant.

Anybody interested in experimenting with hormones?

(having a lot of trouble getting this to post, apologies if there are multiple

The above followup was added by JoshuaLayne on August 22, 2006 at 6:21 pm PST.

very strange - could post reliably on other computer - sorry for multiples.


The above followup was added by josh (AKA JoshuaLayne) on August 22, 2006 at 6:23 pm PST.

Another alternative forehead could be...

Reducing the time of flowering & fruiting and obtaining a plant that could be used like a tomato plant: an annual that produce before arriving the winter cold!

And if they are dwarf, with no much mind worry , you could try to protect them in winter. The same we do here with tomatoes!

There is a nursery not far from here that is recently selling papaya in pot of some dwarf variety. Yesterday I phoned and surely they have PUSA DWARF and KNR DWARF, but the man answered didn't know if they have also TR Hovey.

He announces that they start fruiting "also" at 30 cm above ground and that start production after 11 months after seeded.
The price for every pot is 13 EURO.

Who had experience with PUSA and KNR dwarf variety?

The above followup was added by Francesco on August 23, 2006 at 0:32 am PST.


Josh, I have an aquaintance who grafted babaco onto chamburro. The resutling scion produced fully seeded fruit, while its parent plant beside it produced parthenocarpic fruit. I guess you are expressing this much better as hormonal than I did as genetic, but either way it produces possibiliies for further hybridisation.

What do you know about germinating difficult hybrid seed when GA is insufficient? I have attempted to germinate babaco seed several times without success. I have not yet tried GA, but will do so. I wonder what other options there are, outside of true in vitro techniques?

The above followup was added by Ben on August 23, 2006 at 4:52 pm PST.

don't know/remember much about GA & seed germination

My knowledge is getting stale fast - been out of school for 7 years now and the last 4 before that were molecular bio, not plant physiology.

Hybrids are still very much a black art (blind luck?) when it comes to whether or not the seeds are viable, from what I remember, sorry I can't be of more help.

The above followup was added by josh on August 24, 2006 at 3:45 pm PST.

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