|Crop Knowledge Master|
Carpellodyor Cat Face, papaya
|(Plant Disease Pathogen)|
Wayne Nishijima, Extension Plant Pathologist
Department of Plant Pathology
University of Hawaii at Hilo
"Cat face" or carpellody is specific to papaya.
The appearance of carpellodic fruits can range from those that resemble female fruits to those that are severely deformed with longitudinal ridges or seams. Carpellodic fruits are generally rounded rather than the more typical pyriform shape and are unmarketable.
Carpellody or "cat-face" fruits result when stamens develop abnormally into carpel-like fleshy structures.
Sex expression in hermaphroditic papaya trees is variable and is influenced by environmental factors. The development of carpellodic fruits is favored by low night temperatures in combination with high moisture and nitrogen levels.
Carpellody is an inherited trait thus careful seed selection can reduce its occurrence.
The "Solo" varieties, because of many years of inbreeding, have lower incidence of carpellody but it does occur occasionally under conditions described above.
Arkle, T.D., and Nakasone, H.Y. 1984. Floral differentiation in the hermaphroditic papaya. HortScience 19:832-834.
Yee, W. et. al. 1970. Papayas in Hawaii. Univ. of Hawaii, Coop. Ext. Serv. Circular 436, 56 pp.