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Dennis Gonsalves (born 1943) is an American phytopathologist. He has created with his team a virus-resistant Papaya's called SunUp and Rainbow,[2] which rescued the Papaya growing industry in Hawaii from the devastating effects of the papaya ringspot virus that hit in the late 1990s.[3][4]


Dennis Gonsalves
EducationPhD in plant pathology[1]
Alma materUniversity of Hawaii
University of California, Davis
Known forResearch on mechanisms of virus infection and strategies for developing plants resistant to them
AwardsHumboldt Prize
Agriculture Research Service Science Hall of Fame
Presidential Distinguished Rank Award
Scientific career
InfluencesDr. Eduardo Trujillo



Gonsalves grew up on a sugar plantation in Kohala, Hawaii.[2] He studied horticulture ( BS, 1965) and phytopathology at the University of Hawaii. His doctorate was in 1968 at the University of California, Davis. From 1972 to 1977 he worked at the University of Florida and from 1977 to 2002 at Cornell University, where he became a professor in 1995. Since 2002 he was the director of a USDA research center in Hilo and is now retired.[3]


Gonsalves researched plant viruses. His work on virus-resistant plants, in particular the creation of a Papaya with resistance to the Papaya Ringspot virus, is recognized worldwide and has received several awards.[5][6]

His Rainbow papaya makes up about 77 percent of the Hawaii's crop,[3] funded by USAID, he helped develop locally adapted papaya varieties for Venezuela, Jamaica, Brazil, Africa, and Bangladesh.[1]


Example PatentsEdit


  1. ^ a b c Cheung, Debra. "2007 Award of Distinction Recipients – UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences". Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "The man behind the Rainbow – Biology Fortified, Inc". Biology Fortified, Inc. June 21, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Papaya: A GMO success story". Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Is Genetic Engineering Always a Bad Thing? ~ Jennifer Mo". Elephant Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Gonsalves D. (2015). "The wayward Hawaiian boy returns home". Annual Review of Phytopathology. 53: 1–17. doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-080614-120314. PMID 25898280.
  6. ^ Gonsalves D. (2006). "Transgenic papaya: development, release, impact and challenges. Adv Virus Res". Advances in Virus Research. 67: 317–54. PMID 17027684.

External linksEdit