Can CRISPR gene editing save the Cavendish banana from extinction?

Screen Shot at AM

When it comes to tropical fruits, Norwich [UK] probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind. But here …. a team of banana experts led by a former Israeli naval commander is working feverishly to save the fruit from extinction.

“Bananas are the fourth most important food crop globally, it’s the most consumed and produced food,” says Gilad Gershon, chief executive of Tropic Biosciences.

…. For more than 20 years, tropical race 4 (TR4), a soil-borne strain of the Fusarium wilt fungus, has been slowly making its way across the world from south-east Asia, threatening to wreak havoc on the global banana industry.

Related article:  Scientific, social and ethical barriers must be overcome before the world is ready for CRISPR babies, researchers say

Cavendish bananas are asexual, which means they can’t be bred in a way that eliminates the genes putting them at risk, according to Gershon. So the company has put its gene-editing technology to work to mitigate challenges from the fungus.

Specifically, one of the main tools in the firm’s arsenal of tools is CRISPR …. It’s technology works by taking a banana flower from a place like Colombia and reducing it to millions of stem cells in cultures. Then, sequences of the Cavendish banana genes that make it susceptible to TR4 fungus are cut out.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend