Banana tissue culture plants from South Africa set to give Ecuador industry a boost

Du Roi Laboratory based in Letsitele, Limpopo Province of South Africa, is a leading banana tissue culture facility and supplier to some 25 countries, has recently supplied Ecuador with this country’s first batch of Formosana, a Fusarium Oxysporum Cubense Tropical Race 4 (FOC TR4) Panama disease tolerant banana variety.

 “It is important to note that Formosana has an intermediate resistance to TR4,” says Suné Wiltshire, Du Roi Laboratory General Manager. “It shows less severe symptoms or damage than susceptible varieties when grown under similar environmental conditions and inoculum pressure. The use of a tolerant TR4 variety like Formosana should form part of an integrated approach to the management of TR4.” According to Wiltshire the big advantage of Formosana is that the shape and taste of the bananas is still the same and that the product therefore remains very acceptable for the export market.

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