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Research Needs

Before intensive improvement efforts can take place, certain basic questions must be answered.

1. The way pawpaws are pollinated must be determined. Some believe carrion flies are responsible for pollination (Davis, 1974). Others have established Trichotinus beetles to be pollinators of related Asimina species (Norman and Clayton, 1986). Still others (Knuth, in McGregor, 1976) suggest that honeybees are primary pollinators. Ensuring adequate pollination is critical to commercial success of pawpaw orchards.

2. Basic information on the inheritance of traits of commercial importance is needed. This information is critical for the development of efficient, effective improvement programs.

3. Basic information is needed on pawpaw propagation, reproductive biology, and genetics.

4. There is a continuing need for germplasm collection.

5. There is a great need for test sites for the evaluation of pawpaws, particularly in their principal growing region, the Ohio River Valley. Without these it is impossible to predict how they will perform when planted in various regions.

6. A clearinghouse for pawpaw information is needed for scientists and hobbyists to exchange information.

7. More breeding programs are needed for the development and interchange of superior pawpaw varieties.

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