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Vitamin A-rich bananas offer new hope to address vitamin A deficiency

October 12th, 2018 / CGIAR

Researchers in East Africa are introducing banana varieties from across the world to address severe vitamin A deficiency. Taste tests help to identify and fast track new varieties that consumers prefer.
Vitamin A deficiency is high in the East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC and Kenya, ranging from …

Why Ugandan banana breeders say it’s critical to add genetic engineering to their toolbox

October 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Ugandan researchers have been successful at developing robust hybrid bananas through conventional breeding techniques. Yet they see a strong need to adopt GM varieties of the fruit that is so critical to the nation.
They argue that using conventional breeding to develop hybrid cooking bananas is a …

Scientists’ breakthrough brings hope for banana resistance breeding to deadly bacterial wilt disease

October 9th, 2018 / CGIAR: Roots, Tubers and Bananas

A team, led by scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), have announced a breakthrough in the search for banana varieties that are resistant to the lethal bacterial banana wilt disease. This debunks the notion that all banana varieties are susceptible to the disease and opens the possibility …

Reviving bananas with indigenous wisdom

July 13th, 2018 / SIANI

Monoculture of Cavendish bananas has taken over most of Costa Rica, but there is a rising awareness that Tropical Race 4 is spreading in Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2014 FAO urged to step up global efforts in monitoring, reporting and prevention of the Panama Disease. Meanwhile, promoting indigenous underutilized …

This startup wants to save the banana by editing its genes

June 19th, 2018 / Fast Company

In a lab at a U.K. research park, researchers from a startup called Tropic Biosciences are using CRISPR to create a better banana. The startup, which is also using gene editing to improve coffee, believes that technology could help save the fruit. Today, the company announced that it raised $10 …

GMO Golden Bananas could help combat vitamin A deficiency

May 29th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project/Frontiers in Plant Science

A project known as Banana21 commenced in 2005 to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies in Uganda and surrounding countries through the generation of farmer- and consumer-acceptable edible bananas with significantly increased fruit levels of PVA and iron. A genetic modification approach was adopted since bananas are recalcitrant to conventional breeding.
Based on the …

Pink pineapples and healthy fries: The new GM foods made for you

May 28th, 2018 / New Scientist, UK

From health benefits to increased flavour and longer shelf-life, discover the new generation of GM foods designed with the consumer in mind. Read …

Talking Biotech: What’s keeping disease-resistant GMO bananas from Ugandan farmers?

May 25th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

POD CAST
Those that live in the affluent countries of the West have little clue of the challenges of farming in the Developing World. In this special episode, Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California Davis interviews three experts that understand food security in their respective countries. Emma Naluyima …

Musa project develops hybrids of local Tanzanian cooking banana “Mchare”

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

The banana breeding team at IITA in partnership with the national research team in Tanzania, has developed hybrids of one of the most popular cooking bananas in Tanzania and part of the East African Highland cooking banana called “Mchare.” These hybrids were bred with disease-resistant wild bananas and are high …

Banana21: from gene discovery to deregulated golden bananas

May 9th, 2018 / Frontiers in Plant Science

Uganda is a tropical country with a population in excess of 30 million, more than 80% of whom live in rural areas. Bananas (Musa spp.) are the staple food of Uganda with the East African Highland banana, a cooking banana, the primary starch source. Unfortunately, these bananas are low in …

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