After years of research, Chinese experts have recently launched a new variety of Cavendish banana resistant to TR4, which is used for export. The new variety was developed using chemical mutagenesis techniques. Other countries, including the Philippines, are in advanced stages of developing their own varieties through gamma irradiation. Banana plantations around the world are increasingly threatened by a new fungus, which destroys banana plants that threaten farmers' livelihoods and industry, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) said.
Confined to Southeast Asia for decades, the Fusarium Raza 4 Tropical (TR4) was first seen in Africa recently and in Latin America earlier this year. His outbreak in Colombia in August led to the declaration of a national emergency. The IAEA, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has worked with researchers around the world to support the development of new varieties of various banana species that are resistant to the disease "Modern bananas do not generate seeds and, therefore, are difficult to improve through cross-breeding," said Ivan Ingelbrecht, head of the FAO / IAEA Plant Breeding and Genetics Laboratory. Therefore, the use of techniques such as irradiation or chemical mutagenesis to produce new varieties with favorable traits is often a preferred option to combat the disease.
“The launch of a new Cavendish variety will benefit many farmers; This success is due to the close collaboration with the IAEA and the FAO in mutagenesis techniques, "said Yi Ganjun, vice president of the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Guangzhou." This cutting-edge technology has resulted in a remarkable advance to combat Fusarium wilt "." The incredible results of a new variety of 'local' banana resistant to Fusarium Race 4 Tropical TR4 gives tremendous hope to banana producers who have successfully tested the new plants in field trials, "said Yi "Mutagenesis techniques can contribute to the development of new banana plants to adapt to local environmental conditions."