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Crop Biotech Update

Uganda Implements Field Trials of GM Bananas

June 10, 2011

It's a go for field trials of genetically modified (GM) bananas in Uganda. Scientists at the National Banana Research Program in Kampala, led by Wilberforce Tushemereirwe, will test the bananas that are genetically engineered to resist the Xanthomonas musacearum or BXW, a wilt-causing bacterium that destroys the entire plant.

 "The next step is a multilocation field trial that will take a further two years," says Leena Tripathi, a biotechnologist from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nairobi, Kenya. The transgene patent holder, Taiwan's Academia Sinica based in Taipei, issued a royalty-free license for commercial production in sub-Saharan Africa. Support comes from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, African Agricultural Technology Foundation and USAID.

Subscribers can view the full article at http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v29/n6/full/nbt0611-472.html