World’s favorite banana faces extinction. Are GMOs, CRISPR the final hope? – Genetic Literacy Project

Posted: September 25, 2019 at 8:44 am

The race to engineer the next-generation banana is on. The Colombian government confirmed [in August] that a banana-killing fungus has invaded the Americas the source of much of the worlds banana supply. The invasion has given new urgency to efforts to create fruit that can withstand the scourge.

Scientists are using a mix of approaches to save the banana. A team in Australia has inserted a gene from wild bananas into the top commercial variety known as the Cavendish and are currently testing these modified bananas in field trials. Researchers are also turning to the powerful, precise gene-editing tool CRISPR to boost the Cavendishs resilience against the fungus, known as Fusarium wilt tropical race 4 (TR4).

In an attempt to make biotech bananas more palatable to regulators, [James Dale, a biotechnologist at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia] is . editing the Cavendishs genome with CRISPR to boost its resilience to TR4, instead of inserting foreign genes.

Specifically, hes trying to turn on a dormant gene in the Cavendish that confers resistance to TR4 the same gene that he identified in M. acuminate. But the work is still in its early stages. Itll be a couple of years before these get into the field for trials, Dale says.

Read full, original article: CRISPR might be the bananas only hope against a deadly fungus

The rest is here:
World's favorite banana faces extinction. Are GMOs, CRISPR the final hope? - Genetic Literacy Project

Related Post

Comments are closed.

Archives