Crop Biotech Update

QUT Scientists Develop Golden Bananas to Fight Vitamin A Deficiency in Africa

July 12, 2017

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers developed genetically engineered bananas enriched with vitamin A to save thousands of lives in Africa who are at risk of having vitamin A deficiency.

According to Professor James Dale, the lead scientist, they have boosted the vitamin A concentration of banana up to four times their target. They initially tested the genetic modifications on Cavendish banana in Queensland, Australia, then on highland or east African cooking variety of banana in collaboration with researchers at the National Agricultural Research Organization. The scientists were concerned about possible decline in the amount of pro-vitamin A produced over generations but were thrilled it did not occur even after five generations.

It is expected that it will take six years before the vitamin A-enriched banana will be available in Uganda due to regulatory testing.

Read more from QUT.