Scientists sequence banana genome for 1st time

imageScientists have for the first time sequenced the banana genome, which may help save the humble yellow fruit from imminent collapse.

Bananas are a staple food around the world. But the fruit faces pests and diseases that threaten to wipe it out across the globe.

The achievement opens the way for developing better banana crops that are naturally resilient against parasites and other stresses.

“The banana is very important, especially for tropical and subtropical countries,” .Because the future of the banana is in danger, the sequence will help to produce resistant bananas and avoid the utilization of pesticides. It will be much easier now to identify genes which are important.

Once they put together the sequence, the researchers discovered several genes that may be involved in pest resistance.

Putting together the sequence took so long because, compared to many other crops, the banana genome is extremely complex. Even though all bananas are clones of each other, the original gene forms that came from mother and father plants remain different from each other — unlike in seeded crops that tend to become inbred,

What’s more, bananas have three copies of each chromosome, just like other seedless plants. And for many genes, all three copies are different.

Those developments are especially important in the developing world, where starchy varieties of bananas supply substantial amounts of calories to the human diet, especially in Uganda and other East African countries.

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