Clonally Propagated and Seed-derived Papaya Orchards: II. Yield Comparison

in HortScience
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  • 1 Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Aiea, HI 96701
  • | 2 Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, Aiea, HI 96701
  • | 3 College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822
  • | 4 DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition, Waialua, HI 96791

Gynodioecious papaya (Carica papaya L.) seedlings in commercial cropping systems in Hawaii are typically multiple-planted and thinned upon flowering to a single hermaphrodite because seedlings segregate for sex expression. Use of clonally propagated hermaphrodites would eliminate the over-planting practice and may provide other advantages. Yields of clonally propagated hermaphrodites were compared with single- and multiple-planted seedlings in three fields on two islands in Hawaii. Cloned hermaphrodites were either rooted cuttings or in vitro micropropagated plants. Clonally propagated plants bore ripe fruit 1 to 3 months earlier than thinned seedlings and had significantly higher early and cumulative yields. At each site, cumulative yields of thinned seedlings never reached the same level as those of clonally propagated plants. The yield benefit from clonally propagated plants was greatest at Keaau, the lowest sunlight and least productive test site.

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