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Jun 14, 2010

Uganda Develops Virus Resistant GM Bananas to Fight BXW Wilt

Scientists in Uganda are working on genetically modified (GM) bananas that resist the deadly banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) disease. The GM banana project in Uganda is focused on fighting BXW by inserting of two genes from sweet peppers into the banana genome structure.

Bananas are a leading staple food crop for 70 % of the Ugandan population.  Since 2001, BXW has caused US$200 million in damages throughout Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Uganda does not currently have a bio-safety law.  The 2008 National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill must be approved by the cabinet before it goes to parliament for enactment.

For more see: Wamboga-Mugirya, Peter.  "Sweet genes arm banana crops," SciDev.Net, 14 June 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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