'Goldfinger' given a second chance in Australia

Friday, 03 May 2019
One of the better tasting 'Goldfinger' mutants (Source: ABGC)
One of the better tasting 'Goldfinger' mutants (Source: ABGC)

TR4 is giving FHIA-01 a second chance of being adopted by consumers. The TR4-resistant improved hybrid was produced by the Honduran Agricultural Research Foundation, better known by its acronym FHIA. After a promising start when it was marketed as 'Goldfinger' in Australia, the big supermarkets removed it from their shelves in 2009. One reason given for its commercial failure is that it failed to appeal to consumers.

Following incursions of TR4 in Queensland, a project was launched to improve the eating characteristics of 'Goldfinger' by exposing it to gamma radiation to induce mutations. The Australian Banana Growers' Council reports that 20 elite variants have now been selected from the original 630 irradiated plants. They will be sent to the Northern Territory to be screened against TR4 to ensure that they are still resistant to the fungal strain.

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