Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes from sweet pepper arm banana against deadly wilt disease

Date:
August 4, 2010
Source:
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Summary:
In a major breakthrough, crop scientists have successfully transferred genes from green pepper to bananas that enable the crop to resist the Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), one of the most devastating disease of banana in the Great Lakes region of Africa. The researchers are now about to start confined field trials in Uganda.

In a major breakthrough, crop scientists have successfully transferred genes from green pepper to bananas that enable the crop to resist the Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), one of the most devastating disease of banana in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Researchers are now about to start confined field trials in Uganda.

The transformed banana, infused with plant ferredoxin-like amphipathic protein (Pflp) or hypersensitive response-assisting protein (Hrap) from green pepper, have exhibited strong resistance to BXW in the laboratory and screenhouses. Some of the findings of the research have been published in the Molecular Plant Pathology Journal.

Scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) of Uganda, in partnership with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), would soon be evaluating these promising resistant lines under confined field trials after the Ugandan National Biosafety Committee approved the conduct of the tests.

Dr Leena Tripathi, a biotechnologist with IITA and the lead author of the paper, says that although there is still a long way to go before the transgenic bananas find their way onto farmer's fields, this breakthrough is a significant step in the fight against the deadly banana disease.

"The Hrap and Pflp genes work by rapidly killing the cells that come into contact with the disease-spreading bacteria, essentially blocking it from spreading any further. Hopefully, this will boost the arsenal available to fight BXW and save millions of livelihoods in the Great Lakes region," she said.

"Furthermore, the mechanism- known as Hypersensitivity Response -- also activates the defense of adjacent and even distant uninfected plants leading to a systemic acquired resistance," she adds.

The Hrap and Pflp are novel plant proteins that give crops enhanced resistance against deadly pathogens. They can also provide effective control against other BXW-like banana diseases in other parts of the world such as "Moko," Blood, and "Bugtok." The genes used in this research were acquired under an agreement from the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.

The highly destructive BXW affects all varieties including the East African Highland bananas and exotic dessert, roasting, and beer bananas causing annual losses of more than US$500 million across East and Central Africa. African bananas are also under threat from another deadly disease, the banana bunchy top.

Dr Tripathi adds that there are presently no commercial chemicals, biocontrol agents or resistant varieties that could control the spread of BXW. Even if a source of resistance is identified today, developing a truly resistant banana through conventional breeding would be extremely difficult and would take years, even decades, given the sterile nature and long gestation period of the crop.

BXW was first reported in Ethiopia 40 years ago on 'Ensete', a crop relative of banana, before it moved on to bananas. Outside of Ethiopia, it was first reported in Uganda in 2001, then rapidly spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Burundi, leaving behind a trail of destruction in Africa's largest banana producing and consuming region.

The disease causes yellowing and wilting of the leaves, uneven and premature ripening of the fruit, and withering and rotting of the whole plant.

BXW can be managed by debudding the banana plant and sterilizing farm implements used. However, the adoption of these practices has been inconsistent at best as farmers feel that debudding affects the quality of the fruit and sterilizing farm tools is too tedious.

The research to fortify banana against BXW using genes from sweet pepper was initiated in 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leena Tripathi, Henry Mwaka, Jaindra Nath Tripathi, Wilberforce Kateera Tushemereirwe. Expression of sweet pepper Hrap gene in banana enhances resistance to Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum. Molecular Plant Pathology, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2010.00639.x

Cite This Page:

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. "Genes from sweet pepper arm banana against deadly wilt disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804080624.htm>.
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. (2010, August 4). Genes from sweet pepper arm banana against deadly wilt disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804080624.htm
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. "Genes from sweet pepper arm banana against deadly wilt disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804080624.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins