A Project to Salvage Enset from Bacteria Wilt LaunchedDecember 18, 2013
The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have launched a new project to develop disease resistant enset through biotechnology.
The project launched on 16 December 2013 seeks to develop varieties of the enset or the Ethiopian banana (Ensete ventricosum), a staple food source for over 15 million people in Ethiopia, which has been affected by a deadly bacterial disease since 1968. The disease, currently threatening to wipe out banana in east and central Africa covering Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Burundi makes the plant yield ‘false bananas', which are inedible fruits resembling the actual crop. Scientists have failed to find any genes of resistance to the bacterial wilt disease in banana and enset and their wild relatives after over 30 years of research.
While officially launching the project, the Deputy Director of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Dr Adugna Wakjira appreciated the timeliness of the project due to its importance to the Ethiopian small scale farmer as food, feed and fiber. "Measures which we used to control the disease so far are just sanitary. This project is therefore very timely and relevant to the country, as we have to use modern tools in addition to our conventional breeding to solve this problem" he said.
"We have made great strides in banana transformation to develop varieties resistant to the disease using genes from sweet pepper. We are keen to extend these technologies to enset, at the request of the national scientists," says Leena Tripathi, IITA Plant Biotechnologist who will lead the project.
With funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the four year project seeks to build both human and infrastructural capacity in Ethiopia in conducting biotechnology research. It will also help policy makers put in place the necessary policies needed to carry out such research.
To read the full article, go to http://www.iita.org/news-feature-asset/-/asset_publisher/B3Bm/content/project-to-save-enset-ethiopia-s-ancient-false-banana-from-deadly-bacterial-wilt-disease-starts?redirect=%2Fnews#.Uq_3ibSfaUw
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Agriculture Stakeholders Meet for Climate-Smart Farming
- Media Festival for Youth in Egypt
- A Project to Salvage Enset from Bacteria Wilt Launched
- Study Shows High Yield and Water Efficiency of Drought Tolerant Wheat Due to High Biomass
- Celiac Disease Foundation Comments on IRT Report on GM
- DNA Genome of New Strain of Citrus Greening Could Help Find Cure
- Dow AgroSciences receives U.S. patent for Enlist corn
- India Releases Comprehensive Survey on Bt Cotton
- Bt Cotton Technology Attracting Younger Farmers to Farming in India, Reports Survey
- Scientific Team Profiles Model Grass
- Russia to Allow Biotech Crop Cultivation in 2014
- Scientists Suggest Unique Approach to Combat Phytophtora in Potatoes
- Hungary Ratifies Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress
- Proteins Help Plants Fine-tune Immune Response to Pathogens
- Two-generation Study Shows Bt Rice has No Effect on Wistar Rats
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Study Reveals Potential Achilles' Heel in Malaria Parasite
- Rodent Study Shows Fear Can be Inherited
- Research Reports on Adoption of Commercialized GM/Biotech Crops by Small-scale Farmers in China, India, and the Philippines
- Global Map of Biotech Crop Adoption, Importation, and Field Trials
Subscribe to CBU: