Sunday, March 23, 2008

GM bananas developed with enhanced nutrients

Scientists at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia) have applied for the limited release of genetically modified Cavendish bananas that possess more provitamin A, vitamin E and iron than conventional varieties.

In the bananas, the expression of iron has been enhanced by the inclusion of an iron-storage gene from wild soybeans and vitamin E has been enhanced by the use of genes from rice and rock cress. For the augmented expression of provitamin A, genes from maize, rock cress and the Erwinia bacterium have been employed.

If approved by the national Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, the release of as many as 1,290 banana lines would take place in North Australia. Goal of the research is the nutritional improvement of banana varieties in Uganda and other regions of Africa


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