First pro-vit A bananas harvested in Australia
The first Australian field trials of nutritionally enhanced genetically modified bananas have been harvested, say researchers from Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Early results from the trials of pro-vitamin A-enhanced banana lines are encouraging, project leader Professor James Dale is reported as saying by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The fruit expresses the APsy2a (phytoene synthase) gene from the banana cultivar Asupina, the PsyB73 (phytoene synthase) gene from maize and/or the Crt1 (carotene desaturase) gene from the bacterium, Erwinia uredovora. The researchers are also working to develop other GM banana lines with increased iron or vitamin E content. Field trials, which began in 2008, are located in the South Johnstone area, Queensland.