Kevin Dish, James Dale, Panama discussed on Freakonomics Radio


Was a disease co punchy, top had a long history and has tried to bungee top was caused by a virus. Scientists couldn't find a way to control. And so when the concept of genetic modification kind along, and that was sort of the late eighties. We said, well, this is going to be absolutely perfect for, but Ona's and the reason for that is that the bananas that we ate primarily sterile wild banana seeds are very hard. And so the cabin dish like other banana varieties that people eat has essentially been bred into a seedless sterile condition show, crops, it done have any sage extremely difficult to breed conventionally. So the idea of being able to genetically modify them, and that is to add additional James to two candidates, for instance, which way are interested, same really, really attractive attractive, and for the global banana trade important because the cabin dish like the. Michel before it has rare attributes they robots that travel long distances on there really isn't anything else on the horizon that could now go and replace Kevin dish. There's nothing that you could pull out and say this is going to do what Kevin did after the last outbreak. The new strain of Panama disease emerged in the nineteen ninety s and around about two thousand we decided that this disease, tropical rice, four was kind to be a, a huge problem. And so we set out to look for Jane provide resistance to the disease as part of this research, Dale had a former PHD student out collecting, wild bananas, and the scientist was in Malaysia and happened to see this patch of bananas, which way of growing with everything else had died from tropical vice full, so she and her colleagues collected seeds all those bananas. And I sent them back to straighten James Dale and his team began studying these bananas. And so he said, let's go, and look in the deny of is resistant ones in safely can find the Jane that would provide resistance, and we came up with a number of candidates, James that seem to be working in the resistant sailings, but not in the susceptible savings of one of those look really promising to us. So we took that Jane, and by a process known as Agrobacterium mediated transformation. We put it into another technology, Embry genyk, settles remember, Denic sales suspensions. Some these are we might they sales from Kevin dish. They have the ability to regenerate an entire plant from a single cell and this leads us back to Humpty doo Australia, which had been a fertile site for banana production, but because of the tropic of ice full, it's. Lockdown which made Humpty doo the perfect place to hold the world's first experiment. To see whether genetically modified, Kevin dish bananas could survive Panama disease remember once Panama disease. The struck the soil remains contaminated with the fungus, so we put this chain into these single cells and grew bananas back in two thousand twelve they began field trials that would last a few years, planting, both genetically modified and non GM bananas in the Humpty doo soil, would they find? So what we found is a number of things we found that the non GM bananas with between one hundred percent and edge of why the data infected after three years. So that is as was having pretty big impact. Okay. That's important to know that Panama disease was still in the soil. Which men if a genetically modified plant survived. It was survivor. Panama disease. So how did the genetically modified plants do Dale and his team planted, six, different lines of GM Cavendish plants? One of those lawns raised Jamie putting his G too. So a GI Taylor line three appeared to be completely at the end of three years. None of the plants infected a tool, so sensually. But we've done is we've taken a gene from the wall banana, that he's resistant to Trump. The rights full, we've taken that one banana Jane, and we've gone to put it into cavities and by doing that. We, we've generated resistance to the disease..

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