Panning, Papaya Tree (Stock Footage)

Panning, Papaya Tree (Stock Footage)

Papaya plants come in three sexes: “male,” “female,” and “hermaphrodite.” The male produces only pollen, never fruit. The female will produce small, inedible fruits unless pollinated. The hermaphrodite can self-pollinate since its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries. Almost all commercial papaya orchards contain only hermaphrodites. Gaining in popularity among tropical fruits worldwide, papaya is now ranked third with 11.22 Mt, or 15.36 percent of the total tropical fruit production. Global papaya production has grown significantly over the last few years, mainly as a result of increased production in India. Papaya has become an important agricultural export for developing countries, where export revenues of the fruit provide a livelihood for thousands of people, especially in Asia and Latin America. Papaya exports contribute to the growing supply of healthful food products on international markets. The top three exporting countries accounted for 63.28 percent of the total global exports of papaya between 2007 and 2009, with more than half of those exports going to the United States. Papaya ringspot virus is a well-known virus within plants in Florida. The fungus Anthracnose is known to specifically attack papaya especially the mature fruits. The disease starts out small with very few signs, such as water-soaked spots on ripening fruits. The spots become sunken, turn brown or black and may get bigger. In some of the older spots, the fungus may produce pink spores. The fruit ends up being soft and having an off flavor because the fungus grows into the fruit. Papaya fruit is a source of nutrients such as provitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber. Papaya skin, pulp and seeds also contain a variety of phytochemicals, including lycopene and polyphenols. In preliminary research, danielone, a phytoalexin found in papaya fruit, showed antifungal activity against Colletotrichum gloesporioides, a pathogenic fungus of papaya.Papaya is frequently used as a hair conditioner, but should be used in small amounts. Papaya releases a latex fluid when not quite ripe, which can cause irritation and provoke allergic reaction in some people. The latex concentration of unripe papayas is speculated to cause uterine contractions, which may lead to a miscarriage. Papaya seed extracts in large doses have a contraceptive effect on rats and monkeys, but in small doses have no effect on the unborn animals.

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