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Mediawatch

Links to online news on bananas

Iron-fortified bananas

Tuesday, 13 March 2012
GMO

Australia's Queensland University of Technology and India's Department of Biotechnology will collaborate on the development of iron-rich GM bananas. In an interview, the project leader James Dale said  that bananas were a good vehicle for addressing iron-deficiency anaemia in a country where a large proportion of the population are vegetarians, which means that they do not get iron from a meat diet. They do however consume a considerable amount of bananas.

The banana's major enemy

Friday, 09 March 2012

Miguel Dita of Bioversity International describes to BBC Mundo the difficulties of controlling black leaf streak disease, better known as black Sigatoka.

The globalization of Mycosphaerella

Tuesday, 06 March 2012

A study published in Molecular Ecology explores how the fungus causing black leaf streak spread to Africa and the Americas from its center of origin in southeast Asia.

Chiquita's environmental alliances

Monday, 13 February 2012
Chiquita celebrates its 20-year collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, one of the longest sustained relationships between a company and an NGO.

A new banana species?

Monday, 06 February 2012
The announcement that a new banana species, Musa serpentina, had been discovered, sparked a discussion on its identity.

Building better bananas

Tuesday, 31 January 2012
GMO
Bill Gates blogs about efforts to increase the levels of vitamin A and iron in bananas from Uganda.

The antiquity of banana cultivation in western Africa

Monday, 23 January 2012
Recent excavations that contradict previous, but disputed, findings suggesting a first millennium BC arrival of bananas in western Africa will not be enough to settle the issue, argues The Archaeobotanist.

Controlled atmosphere

Wednesday, 07 December 2011
An eye-opening behind-the-scene look at one of New York City’s banana ripening outfit.

More Fusarium worries

Thursday, 01 December 2011
While TR4 continues its spread in the Philippines and calls for the creation of a banana research institute intensify, consumers in banana-importing countries worry about losing their breakfast banana.

Photoperiod matters

Monday, 28 November 2011
The growth of banana plants is more sensitive to photoperiod than previously believed, according to a study published in Functional Plant Biology. The authors analysed data from Puerto Rico, Ivory Coast, New South Wales in Australia and South Africa.

GM bananas resistant to Xanthomonas wilt

Friday, 25 November 2011
Bananas have been engineered to be resistant to Xanthomonas wilt by expressing the plant ferredoxin-like protein (Pflp) gene. About 67% of transgenic lines evaluated showed resistance to the disease after being challenged with the bacterium.

Radio tagging weevils reveals their weaknesses

Thursday, 24 November 2011
CIRAD scientists tracked the movements of weevils to simulate how they attack their host. The computer model can then be used to test which agricultural practice is most likely to halt the banana pest in its tracks.

Banana from Costa Rica obtains registration

Tuesday, 22 November 2011
The geographical indication Banano de Costa Rica has been registered under the Lisbon Agreement administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration offers a means of obtaining protection for an AO in the contracting parties to the Lisbon Agreement (27 countries as of 14 October 2011) through a single registration.

Coffee-banana intercropping spreads to Rwanda

Friday, 28 October 2011
Farmers in Rwanda are experimenting with intercropping bananas and coffee in a bid to make a better living.

Cross-crop fertilization

Tuesday, 18 October 2011
An article in SciDev.net reports that trials done in Egypt have shown that bean, corn and maize crops fertilized with compost made with banana plant residues had better yields and required less water than when other fertilizers were used. In Egypt, where banana plants are usually burned after harvest to make way for another crop, this alternative practice would allow for plants infected with the banana bunchy top virus to be recycled into compost since it would not be used on banana plants.

Yesterday’s fruit?

Monday, 25 July 2011
In a transcribed interview to the US National Public Radio Dan Koeppel, the author of Bananas: The fate of the fruit that changed the world, explains why the export industry is so committed to the Cavendish. But consumers in banana-importing countries are not the only ones eating Cavendish. Half of the bananas grown in the world are Cavendish, of which less than a third are traded internationally. In an article in Saveur, the American author wonders whether a successor to the Cavendish is lurking among the other half.

Carbon footprint of Dole bananas

Wednesday, 06 July 2011
Dole announced the launch a new Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability website that includes a section on the carbon footprint of its bananas.

Suckers get the boiling treatment

Friday, 15 April 2011
IITA scientists developed an alternative to soaking suckers in 50°C water to kill nematodes and weevils: dip them in boiling water for 20-30 seconds. The boiling treatment does away with the need to measure the temperature with a thermometer.

Bananas and potassium

Wednesday, 06 April 2011
A study confirms the beneficial role of eating bananas to prevent strokes.

Banana peel can help remove heavy metals from water

Thursday, 17 March 2011
Scientists from Brazil have published a study exploring the ability of banana peel to extract lead and copper from water. This ability to gather together trace amounts of copper and lead could also be used to make the metals easier to detect, according to an American environmental engineer speaking to an Australian media.