Mar. 28, 2008
Scientists have isolated a sweet pepper gene for transforming into bananas to control banana wilt in eastern Africa, the regional news service AllAfrica reports. Scientists of the Ugandan National Agricultural Research Organisation and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture collaborated on the research. Preliminary laboratory tests indicate that the genetically modified banana plants are wilt resistant. The gene identified as suitable has previously been used to fight diseases in other crops such as tobacco, broccoli and tomatoes. The disease has reportedly spread to banana crops in Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda in recent years.