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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Research on Papaya to Be Exported to Japan and Characterization and Preservation of Hawaiian Taro Cultivars

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 5320-21000-015-05
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 30, 2009
End Date: Sep 29, 2014

Objective:
The genetically engineered papaya has been commercialized in Hawaii since 1998 and now is close to being deregulated in Japan, which will allow the export of genetically engineered papaya to Japan in 2010. The exportation of the transgenic papaya is being headed by the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association (HPIA). With taro, controversy over genetic engineering has occurred, with a significant part involving cultural aspect of Hawaiian taro as it relates to the Hawaiian race. The objectives of this proposal are to 1) To assess the impact labeling and marketing strategies that are deployed by HPIA on the commercialization of the transgenic papaya in Japan, and 2) further characterize the native Hawaiian taro cultivars using molecular markers, and to develop genetic maps of six Hawaiian taro varieties and two ex-Hawaii strains.

Approach:
Transgenic papaya: A close collaborative effort will be made with HPIA as it markets the transgenic papaya in Japan. A sample of grocery stores in Japan will be used to study the impact of labeling on sales of transgenic papaya. The sales of GM and nonGMO papaya will be monitored and recorded. It is anticipated that the research objective will be completed within the first two years of introduction of the transgenic papaya to Japan. Hawaiian taro: Efforts will be made at collecting, cloning, and storing the taro germplasm at UH Hilo under tissue culture conditions in order to lower the costly maintenance of taro under field conditions. Available microsatellite markers will be used in differentiating the Hawaiian varieties. Pyrosequencing will be done of selected cultivars to provide the rapid acquisition of very large volumes of DNA sequence information, which will be used in nucleotide polymorphism to identify the taro cultivars. Documents SCA with U of HI. Formerly 5320-21000-011-05S (9/09). Formerly 5320-21000-011-17S (11/10). Formerly 5320-21000-013-07S (05/13).

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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