Plantains biofortified with vitamin A

J.F. Aguilar Morán
In 1999, LSQUOGolden RiceRSQUO was created, the first transgenic cultivar with a high content of vitamin A. Notwithstanding the high consumption of rice in the world and the importance of reducing the deficiency of vitamin A, it has not been approved for cultivation due to restrictions of GM crops. The innovation of LSQUOGolden RiceRSQUO triggered a series of programs in other crops to cope with vitamin A deficiency. The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) (Australia) started in 2005 the development of a transgenic LSQUOCavendishRSQUO banana. The Queensland team has increased by 4 times the level of beta-carotene contained in LSQUOCavendishRSQUO and it is expected that this new cultivar will be released in 2020. Considering that the common plantain has 10 times more beta-carotene content than LSQUOCavendishRSQUO banana, the Banana and Plantain Breeding Program from the Honduran Agricultural Research Foundation (FHIA) began in 2009 the creation of triploid hybrids resistant to Black Sigatoka and with a high content of pro-vitamin A. For the accomplishment of this project, from 2009 to 2011 we evaluated triploid hybrids that were produced by crossing SH-4001 tetraploid plantain with 5 donors. As a result of this investigation, we selected two triploid hybrids resistant to Black Sigatoka, with 20-31 times the content of beta-carotene of the LSQUOCavendishRSQUO cultivar. One of these hybrids can be consumed in the raw state, the same as a dessert banana.
Aguilar Morán, J.F. (2015). Plantains biofortified with vitamin A. Acta Hortic. 1106, 15-18
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1106.3
bananas, plantains, biofortification, vitamin A, conventional breeding, genetic variability

Acta Horticulturae