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Abstract

Demand for locally produced papaya (Carica papaya) fruits far outweighs supply in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Due to constraints such as mealybug inscite infestation and the high incidence ofpapaya ringspot virus, farmers are in need of varieties which are suitable for local growing conditions. Two papaya germplasm evaluation trials were conducted during 1996-97 and 1997-98. These varieties were evaluated for yield and fruit characteristics, and quality. In both trials, 'Cariflora' set the highest number of fruits and 'Yuen Nong' the lowest. In the first trial, 356-3 was the sweetest with brix of 13.42% and 'Criolla' the lowest with a brix of9.42 %. In the second trial, 'Cartegena' had the heaviest fruits (1510) and 'PR665 dwaf' was the lightest (405 g). The height at first fruit set from both trials ranged from 40 em 'Sunrise x Cariflora' to 221 em, 'Trini Yellow'. Productive papaya varieties can be recommended for fresh market production in the USVI to fulfill the characteristics the consumes desire .

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