Scientists from the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen UR in the Netherlands and the Brazilian research organisation Embrapa have developed a rapid DNA diagnostic to test banana plants for the much-feared cause of the Panama disease. Published in the magazine Plant Pathology, the method only requires a day to detect and identify the presence of Tropical Race 4, the most devastating strain of the Fusarium fungus that causes Panama disease in banana plantations. The time savings offered by the new method can be used to implement efficient monitoring strategies, and thereby the threat to the cultivation of bananas, which is an economically vital crop that serves as a major food source in many tropical countries
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