Bananas are delicious. But bananas aren’t just some tasty delicacy, they’re actually a staple crop for millions of people, just behind wheat, rice and corn in terms of importance. Which is why a banana-decimating pathogen has the potential to negatively impact millions of people in East Africa.
So what if you could cross one plant that normally resists the infection with the bananas that these farmers grow? That would be awesome right? Unfortunately, there aren’t any banana varieties that are resistant, they all succumb to infection. But luckily, rice plants do have a resistance gene, and we know what it is. And it turns out, if you put that gene into bananas, they are completely resistant to infection by this banana wilt bacterium.
I had the pleasure of interviewing my co-blogger Pamela Ronald, the scientist who first discovered that rice resistance gene (called Xa 21) over 20 years ago, and is now working on making those awesome GMO bananas that could save millions of lives.
Listen to the full interview: Just a Huge Distraction
Read the full, original article: Genetically Engineered Bananas – Audiommunity with Pamela Ronald