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Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016Papaya Disease & White Growth Anomaly Photographs
Photos of stringy sinuous white growth in the fruit of the Papaya

  • PAPAYA WHITE GROWTH - CONTENTS: Field and lab microscopic photographs of white filamentous or stringy growth through the fruit of a papaya, probable cause & implicastions
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Photographs of white sinuous or filamentous growth through the fruit or ovary of a papaya:

What is the probable cause and what may be the significance of the white growths throughout the fruit of this papaya? Is this a plant disease, a fungus, or a genetic anomaly? Is this papaya safe to eat?

Included in this article series are photographs of plants and matching pollen from other areas in the U.S., Canada, Spain, France, and Mexico, and from other countries. Included are pollen and plants include the New York Hudson Valley. We include links to detailed articles about individual pollen and plant species.



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Papaya White Growth or "Disease" Photographs

Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016

[Click to enlarge any image]

Shown here are photographs of a white fibrous growth throughout the normally-edible portion of the fruit of a papaya plant.

We have asked for opinions from experts on the papaya plant to address the following six questions. Readers and papaya experts are invited to CONTACT US with comments or suggestions.

  1. What is this white growth?
  2. Is it fungal, is it a plant disease, or is it a genetic disorder or aberration?

Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016 Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016

Above we see fairly typical papaya seeds in the center of this fruit, and in our second photo we see rather obvious indication that the white fibrous growth that permeates the normally pure orange fruit of the papaya ovary wall is emanating from the white liner or lactifer (latex ducts) to which seeds are attached and from which they are formed.

  1. What are the causes of this papaya "disease"?
  2. Is this papaya safe to eat?
  3. Are there external symptoms on a papaya fruit that might indicate the presence of this papaya disorder?
  4. Is there something else we should ask about this papaya and its edibiltiy?

Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016 Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016

Other observations about this specific papaya shown above included a sticky surface on the fruit's exterior and a bit of (rather typical) mould growing at the fruit's base. I could but did not bother to identify this fungus as it is entirely common on other papayas in the marketplace and from its location and compared with the internal growths we document above, I did not see an obvious connection between the fungus and the problem under discussion.

Typically I find species of Aspergillus sp. or sometimes Penicillium sp. in these white mould deposits and on occasion one finds one of the mildews present. For example see CACTUS, NOPAL PRICKLY PEAR MOLD.

Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016 Papaya disease white growth through fruit (C) Daniel Friedman 2016

And under the microscope we see the fibrous growth and no obvious fungal material in the papaya flesh.

Papaya laticifer fiber growing in the  papaya flesh (C) Daniel Friedman Papaya laticifer fiber growing in the  papaya flesh (C) Daniel Friedman

and

Papaya laticifer fiber growing in the  papaya flesh (C) Daniel Friedman

 

White Fibrous Papaya Growth Diagnosis & Comments

Thanks for your query regarding the flesh disorder of papaya which was forwarded to our pathology group in North Queensland, Australia. The group has seen and is not aware of similar symptoms occurring in Australian produced fruit. After looking at all the images we agree with Daniel that the disorder is not related to any disease.

It appears that something has affected the laticifers (latex ducts) or the vascular material resulting in an aberration of the tissue. It is difficult to determine the actual cause without having knowledge of the growing conditions, variety, field and postharvest treatments, incidence and severity (eg. one fruit on one plant). One way to determine if it is specifically the laticifers that are affected would be touch the surface of freshly cut fruit and feel if it is sticky. - Kathy Grice, Senior Experimentalist, Horticulture and Forestry Science, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mareeba, Queensland Australia [by private email] 2016/06/22

Research on Diseases of the Papaya Plant & Fruit

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