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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2006-06-12 13:37 UTC (kirsty.mclean.consultant@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2012-06-26 19:35 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-06-26 19:35 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

Organism information
Scientific name
Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV)
Taxonomic Classification
SubspeciesPapaya ringspot virus (PRSV)
Scientific name synonyms(s)
Watermelon mosaic virus 1, Papaya ringspot potyvirus
Additional Classification
Type of organism
  • Viruses
Characteristics related to biosafety
Habitat range
Spreads in the Middle East and the South and Central American region; China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Taiwan, and the USA.
Known pathogenicity and/or allergenicity
Papaya ringspot virus infects papaya and cucurbits systemically.  Symptoms on papaya are somewhat similar to those on cucurbits.  In papaya, leaves develop prominent mosaic and chlorosis on the leaf lamina, and water soaked oily streaks on the petioles and upper part of the trunk. 

Severe symptoms often include a distortion of young leaves which also result in the development of a shoestring appearance that resembles mite damage.  Trees that are infected at a young stage remain stunted and will not produce an economical crop.  Fruit from infected trees may have bumps similar to that observed on fruit of plants with boron deficiency and often have 'ringspots', which is the basis for the disease's common name (Figure 1).  A severe PRSV isolate from Taiwan is also known to induce systemic necrosis and wilting along with mosaic and chlorosis.
Additional Information
Additional Information
There are two major types of this virus that are serologically indistinguishable and are so closely genetically related that they are now considered the same virus species.

The type that gave the virus its name are the Type P isolates (PRSV-P). This type infects papaya and several members of the melon family (Cucurbitaceae).

The other type, Type W isolates (PRSV-W), does not infect papaya. Isolates of PRSV-W do infect cucurbits such as watermelon, cucumber, and squash and were originally known as Watermelon mosaic virus 1'.


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Gene and DNA Sequence1 record