A billion dollar banana industry at risk of a deadly disease could be saved by a scientific breakthrough from a Queensland university.
The Queensland University of Technology has genetically modified Cavendish bananas using a wild gene, resulting in strongly resistant and Panama (TR4) disease-free plants across a three-year trial.
Trial leader professor James Dale says it's a major step towards protecting the $US12 billion ($A17 billion) Cavendish global export business.
"TR4 can remain in the soil for more than 40 years and there is no effective chemical control for it. It is a huge problem," Prof Dale said.
"It has devastated Cavendish plantations in many parts of the world and it is spreading rapidly across Asia.
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