Crop Biotech Update

IITA Scientists Identify Markers Associated with Resistance to Banana Weevil

February 2, 2022

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and their partners have identified molecular markers associated with resistance to banana weevil, one of the crop's most destructive pests that can cause up to 100% yield loss.

Banana and plantain are important staple foods and sources of income for millions of people globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The banana weevil borer, Cosmopolites sordidus (Germar), is one of the major banana pests that constrains banana and plantain production. Larvae of the banana weevil feed on banana corms, obstructing nutrient and water uptake, causing plants to topple.

The research team used a non-conventional way of identifying the region associated with resistance called "continuous mapping" to identify the markers. The identified markers associated with resistance to weevil damage will be used in the development of molecular tools for marker-assisted breeding in bananas.

For more details, read the article in IITA News.

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