Biotech creates wilt-resistant banana

Developing a wilt-resistant banana could be of great significance for banana farmers in Uganda - IITA

Developing a wilt-resistant banana could be of great significance for banana farmers in Uganda
© IITA

Through genetic engineering, scientists in Uganda have developed banana plants that show high levels of resistance to banana xanthomonas wilt. The resistance is created by inserting two genes from green pepper plants into banana. Following successful trials in the laboratory and in greenhouses, the Ugandan authorities have now given permission for confined field trials. If successful, new wilt resistant bananas could be available to farmers within 3-4 years, assuming they are given the necessary approval. The genes have already been used to provide resistance to bacterial and fungal diseases in other crops, such as rice and some vegetables. Dr Leena Tripathi from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) explains more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Interview by:
Country:
Uganda
Duration:
3'50"
Date published:
October 2010
 
 
 

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