China Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences has made important progress in the development of anti-"Panama disease" banana seedlings

A few days ago, after years of efforts, scientists from the Institute of South Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences made important progress in the cultivation of anti-"Panama disease" banana seedlings, and cultivated "8818-1" banana plants resistant to "Panama disease" in Guangdong Province. The banana planting area was field-tested.
"Panama disease", also known as banana blight and yellow leaf disease, is a banana-borne disease that spreads through the soil. The bacteria invade from the roots of bananas and spread to the main stems and leaves, causing the bananas to die and die. After the plants withered and died, the pathogens were left in the soil with the banana residues, and they spread along with the flow of water or infected agricultural equipment. As a result, the diseased areas could not grow bananas for more than 30 years. The disease is an "incurable disease" of bananas and is the biggest killer of the global banana planting industry.

Because the disease spreads through the soil, there are no effective pesticides and methods to prevent and control. Breeding resistant varieties has become the most economical and effective measure to prevent and treat the disease. Researchers from the South Asia Institute of the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences have started breeding new varieties of bananas resistant to “Panama disease” through chemical mutagenesis and breeding since 1998. At present, important progress has been made and “8818-1” disease resistance has been cultivated. The new plants, after direct access to bacteria, identification of diseased plots, and experimental field trials, all exhibited the expected strong resistance to disease. At present, the application trials are being conducted in the Zhanjiang banana growing area in Guangdong. The South Asia Institute of Tropical Agricultural Sciences of China has also established a rapid detection method for bananas against "Panama disease", and has applied for a national invention patent in 2008. This method can quickly identify plants that are resistant to "Panama disease" and plants that are susceptible to "Panama disease", providing a guarantee for farmers to choose disease-resistant varieties.

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