Bananas are a staple food in many countries, but the popular fruit has to face a number of diseases that endanger of extinction throughout the world. A team of French researchers has sequenced the DNA of the first tropical fruit in the hope finding a method that can be saved.
“Bananas are very important fruit in the local economies in tropical and subtropical countries. As the future is bleak bananas, genome sequencing will boost banana getting stronger and avoid using pesticides. Now we will be much easier to identify genes important in this pro . “said Angelique D’Hont, CIRAD geneticist in an experimental agricultural research center in Montpelier. Bananas were first cultivated 7,000 years ago in Southeast Asia.
In their migrations, groups of people crossed varieties of bananas that are cultivated with others along the way, and in this way, bananas have become better in taste, but without seeds, so sterile. Rather than multiply by sexual reproduction, which leads to mixing of genes, bananas are grown by vegetative propagation, method is simply the cut of a plant, the plant will grow back nine.
As a result, every Cavendish banana (variety of which are over 50% of the bananas consumed in the world) is a clone of any other Cavendish bananas. Shape, color and flavor of these fruits are predictable and constant, but parasites and diseases have adapted to this type of banana, which requires the use of increasing amounts of pesticides.
To decipher the strengths and weaknesses of genetic bananas, French researchers have spent two years working on sequencing the genome of Musa acuminata speciii called banana, related to Cavendish bananas. Researchers have discovered a series of genes that can be used to increase plant resistance.
They also identified genes involved in ripening, after application of ethylene, which are treated green bananas are ready for transport. It also found that bananas have duplicated the entire genome of three times (produced copies of each gene in the genome) three times during evolution. Compared with other fruits, banana genome is extremely complex.
Research in this field are extremely important for the economy of developing countries, where bananas provide a substantial amount of calories daily diet, especially in East African countries. Therefore, loss of banana crop would quickly lead to real disaster.
Source: Discovery News