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Abstract

Papaya (Carica papaya) has a gelatinous sarcotesta surrounding the seed that can reduce germination due to inhibition of oxygen to the seed. However, removal of the sarcotesta allows the seeds to dry quicker and more exposure to oxygen. The viability of the clean seeds, sarcotesta removed at harvest, and held under refrigerated storage was not known. The objective of this research was to study the viability and germination of seven papaya lines, with seeds from 2006 to 2012. Seeds were imbibed in vitro for one week and a tetrazolium test for seed viability was applied. Seeds held in storage from 2006, 2008, and 2010, and fresh harvested seed from 2012 were planted (replicated) under greenhouse conditions. Germination was recorded over a 33-day cycle. There was great variability in germination between lines. For all papaya lines, the 2008 seed had the poorest germination, ranging from 10% to 60%. Papaya seed loose viability over time under refrigerated storage. This research was supported by USDA-Hatch and USDA-NIFA-lnsular Tropical Grant funds.

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