To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

March 20, 2008

Gene modification offers possibilities of resistance to banana bacterial wilt

SCIENTISTS have developed a gene that would be used to develop varieties of banana that are resistant to the bacterial wilt.

Peter Werehire, the publications officer of the Nairobi-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation, said in the last five years, the disease has spread to 33 districts in Uganda and gone beyond into Eastern Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Werehire was recently speaking at the Science With Africa conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The conference focused on improving cooperation between scientific research, policy development and providing a framework for utilising science technology innovations for attaining accelerated economic growth in Africa.

Werehire said the banana bacterial wilt disease is spread through the use of infected banana planting materials, infected cutting tools, vectors and browsing animals.

"When the disease strikes, the leaves of the infected plants first turn dull green before they become scalded. The plants start wilting and the bunches show uneven and premature ripening of fruit," he said.

"So, the National Agricultural Research Organisation and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture sought to access candidate genes for conferring resistance against the wilt. One such gene was the plant ferrodoxin-like protein gene from sweet pepper," he said.

Werehire said the gene has already been used to combat diseases in tobacco, tomato, broccoli, orchids and rice.

He said preliminary laboratory tests indicate that transgenic banana plants appear to be resistant to the wilt.

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP