Scientists grow disease resistant banana plant

October 30th, 2008 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 30 (IANS) Scientists have grown a disease resistant banana plant with the help of a gene at Queensland University of Technology. James Dale, director of the Queensland Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, said the insertion of a single gene into the banana genome created a resistance to fusarium wilt, or Panama disease.

The gene stops cells dying when they are attacked by the disease, which is prevalent in south-east Asia. Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service considers the disease the world’s worst for bananas. There is concern that fusarium wilt may spread into Australia’s major banana growing regions, according to a Queensland release.

A field trial of the bananas is expected in December.

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