New genetically modified bananas can resist the “Panama disease” caused by the fungus, biologists from Australia and the Netherlands have shown. They planted ordinary and genetically modified bananas not far from Darwin in Australia.
The disease mostly affects banana plantations in Asia, Africa, Australia and Central America. The fungus almost completely destroyed the most popular in the middle of the XX century variety Gros Michel.
Instead of it, in 2012 came to Cavendish resistant to fungus. This is a genetically modified variety, derived by Australians. They added to the banana gene RGA2, which allows some wild species of plants to resist the fungus. However, in the 90’s there was a strain that could attack it, reports Nature Communications.
In the territory where experiments were carried out by biologists, in the soil near each plant, the parts of bananas infected by the fungus were put in the soil. In three years from 67% to 100% of unmodified plants were infected or died from the fungus. About 80% of the modified plantations survived.
The farmers can have transgenic plants in five years.