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pollination services

    Papaya

Below is an extract from a pollination research paper prepared by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).  To download the document, simply click on the image on the left of this screen.

For papaya fruit to develop, pollen must be transferred from the staminate (male) flowers to the pistillate (female) flowers.  There is a significant body of earlier research which describes the pollination of papaya by insects, however, results vary as to which insects (if any) are the most important. 

Conflicting evidence persists with reference to the pollinating capabilities of honey bees in papaya orchards with more recent research by Westerkamp and Gottsberger (2000) finding that attractive nectar produced by male flowers around the rudimentary pistal is out of reach of the bees because of the long tube.  Research by Walsh et al. (2006) does, however, highlight the importance of insects in general in the pollination of the papaya.  In the study, three types of netting (coarse, medium and fine mesh) were evaluated for exclusion of insects to control phytoplasma diseases of papaya.  Results showed that pollination was poor under netting, with the individual fruit weight and total harvested fruit weight reduced to around 50% compared to the control.

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