The National Research Centre for Bananas (NRCB) in Trichy, India is to begin developing a wilt resistant banana variety. Accordingly, the centre has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bioversity International, France, to research on developing a banana variety or varieties not prone to the Fusarium wilt disease.
The project, titled 'breeding for improved bananas', will be carried out by scientists from NRCB, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Kerala Agricultural University - Banana Research Station (BRS) and the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) Bengaluru.
"Wilt disease affects almost all the varieties. The attack of the wilt disease will lead to stunted growth of the plant leading to reduced production. Leaf spot disease is also equally dangerous. This project will help overcome this issue by developing a wilt-resistant banana," said V Kumar, principal scientist, horticulture, NRCB.