According to assessments every year about 750,000 children die from serious vitamin A deficiency. Most of them live in developing countries where Bananas is a staple food. For this reason the new Bananas Rich in pro-vitamin A are very important and may give hope to all who are impacted - reported by Newsweek.
Australian scientists of Queensland University have been working for 10 years on creating the golden-orange-fleshed bananas rich in pro-vitamin A. Researches were funded by $7.6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Pro-vitamin A is essential for human body to be able to produce vitamin A.
Flesh is gold due to high pro-vitamin A
Researchers took genes from a species of banana from Papua New Guinea, which is high in pro-vitamin A and combined it with that of a Cavendish banana, the high-yielding species most people are familiar with. They have tested hundreds of genetic variations until the proper genes were found. The elite genes have been sent to Uganda for field trials.
In the next phase of the research scientists will test if the results of the experiments are properly replicated in the field. The ultimate purpose is to provide poor countries with enough bananas rich in vitamin A. Researchers hope their bananas will be grown by Ugandan farmers in about 3-4 years from now.
Genetically modified bananas
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