Crop Biotech Update

Biotech Banana Confers Enhanced Resistance to Xanthomonas Wilt Disease

November 25, 2011

Banana Xanthomonas wilt is considered as one of the biggest problems in banana production especially in East and Central Africa. It is caused by bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum which can rapidly infect all varieties of banana causing withering and rotting of fruits.

With the goal of controlling this pathogen, B. Namukwaya of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and colleagues used genetic engineering to produce bananas resistant to BXW. The biotech bananas expressed plant ferredoxin-like protein (Pflp) and were characterized by molecular analysis. High resistance to BXW were exhibited by the resulting lines, wherein 67 percent showed complete resistance to the pathogen.

Based on the findings, expression of Pflp in banana could cause improved resistance BXW.

Read the abstract at http://www.springerlink.com/content/k55613385752p34u/.