Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers developed genetically
engineered bananas enriched with vitamin A to save thousands of lives in
Africa who are at risk of having vitamin A deficiency.
According to Professor James Dale, the lead scientist, they have boosted the
vitamin A concentration of banana up to four times their target. They
initially tested the genetic mosifications on Cavendish banana in
Queensland, Australia, then on highland or east African cooking variety of
banana in collaboration with researchers at the National Agricultural
Research Organization. The scientists were concerned about possible decline
in the amount of pro-vitamin A produced over generations but were thrilled
it did not occur even after five generations.
It is expected that it will take six years before the vitamin A-enriched
banana will be available in Uganda due to regulatory testing.