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Field resistance of transgenic plantain to nematodes has potential for future African food security
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Plant parasitic nematodes impose losses of up to 70% on plantains and cooking bananas in Africa. Application of nematicides is inappropriate and resistant cultivars are unavailable. Where grown, demand for plantain is more than for other staple crops. Confined field testing demonstrated that transgenic expression of a biosafe, anti-feedant cysteine proteinase inhibitor and an anti-root invasion, non-lethal synthetic peptide confers resistance to plantain against the key nematode pests Radopholus similis and Helicotylenchus multicinctus. The best peptide transgenic line showed improved agronomic performance relative to non-transgenic controls and provided about 99% nematode resistance at harvest of the mother crop. Its yield was about 186% in comparison with the nematode challenged control non-transgenic plants based on larger bunches and diminished plant toppling in storms, due to less root damage. This is strong evidence for utilizing this resistance to support the future food security of 70 million, mainly poor Africans that depend upon plantain as a staple food.
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/933
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