Proteins from the fungus Cladosporium fulvum, which causes leaf blight in tomato plants, are very similar to the proteins of the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis, which causes the much-feared black Sigatoka disease in the banana. This paves the way for using genetic modification to build resistance into the banana via the tomato, report Wageningen phytopathologists in PNAS this week.
The article in PNAS is the result of a joint effort by Pierre de Wit, a specialist in Cladosporium fulvum, the causal agent of the tomato leaf mould disease, and Gert Kema of Plant Research International, specialist in the Mycosphaerella fungus. In the past few years both research teams have joined forces to find novel strategies to protect crop plants against devastating diseases like the black Sigatoka of banana
9 Apr 2010
Tomato gene may fend banana against formidable fungus