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Banana and plantain
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Bananas and plantains ( Musa spp .) are the world’s fourth most important food crop after rice, wheat, and maize in terms of gross value of production. They are major staple food and source of income for millions of people in tropical and subtropical regions; particularly in Africa, an area where the green revolution has had little influence. The performance of bananas and plantains can be severely affected by diseases and pests. These are predominantly small-holders’ crops; most growers cannot afford costly chemicals to control pests and diseases. The host plant resistance is the most sustainable approach to counteracting pest and disease pressure. Transgenic technology, together with conventional methods can assist in overcoming these problems in developing improved cultivars of banana and plantain. Some successes in genetic engineering of Musa have been achieved, enabling the transfer of foreign genes into the plant cells. The transgenic approach shows potential for the genetic improvement of bananas using a wide set of transgenes currently available that may confer resistance to pests and diseases. The use of appropriate constructs may allow the production of pest- and disease-resistant plants in a significantly shorter period of time than using conventional breeding; especially if several traits can be introduced at the same time.