This disease has affected all varieties of the plant across the African peninsula and it causes withering of the leaves, premature ripening of the fruit and finally rotting of the whole plant. There are no commercially available chemical or bio-control agents to prevent the spread of the disease. However, in the present study scientists have infused the plant ferredoxin-like amphipathic protein or the hypersensitive response-assisting protein genes from green pepper in to the banana plant to produce a transgenic banana which showed a strong resistance to the BXW disease under laboratory conditions. It is believed that these genes are expressed when cells come in to contact with the bacteria and the resulting hypersensitive reactions kills the cells thereby preventing the further spread of the disease. In addition the response generated also activates the defense mechanism of adjacent and distant uninfected crops against the disease thus resulting in a systemic acquired resistance against the bacterium. Thus these novel proteins provide enhanced resistance to plants and help them to effectively prevent the spread of infections by pathogens. The article deals with the concept of systemic acquired resistance and the potential application of genes that confer such resistance in preventing diseases in plants. The acquisition of systemic resistance to pathogens by plants has great economic value as millions of farmers across the globe would be benefitted through it.
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. “Genes from Sweet Pepper Arm Banana Against Deadly Wilt Disease.” Science Daily, 4 August 2010. Web. 17 November 2010. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804080624.htm
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