Research | Published:

Generation of Transgenic Banana (Musa acuminata) Plants via Agrobacterium-Mediated Transformation


An Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation system was developed for the generation of transgenic banana (Musa spp. van Grand Nain). This system allowed for the recovery of putative transformants within four weeks after co-cultivation of tissue samples with Agrobacterium. Two or more cycles of meristem rooting and micropropagation allowed for the selection of plants from this putative transformant population which demonstrated chromosomal integration of foreign DNA by Southern analysis with no indication of chimeric tissues. Since plant breeding strategies aimed at banana crop improvement are extremely complex and long-term, virtually all commercial production is from clonal derivatives of naturally occurring variants. The genetic transformation technology reported herein will provide an additional tool for crop breeders who wish to introduce value-added traits into the banana and plantain cultivars that serve as vital food sources and a means of generating export income for producing nations.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Anonymous. 1992. FAO Report, Committee on Commodity Problems BA 91/6.

  2. 2

    Novak, F.J. 1992. Musa (Bananas and Plantains), p. 449–488. In: Biotechnology of Perennial Fruit Crops. Hammerschlag, F. A. and Lite, R. E. (Eds.). CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon, UK.

  3. 3

    Persley, G.J. and De Langhe, E.A. (Eds.). 1987. Banana and plantain breeding strategies. Proceedings of an international workshop held at Cairns, Australia, 13–17 Oct. 1986. ACIAR Proceedings no. 21, Canberra Australia: ACIAR.

  4. 4

    Arntzen, C.J. and Lam, D.M-K. 1992. Biotechnology for the improvement of banana and plantains, p. 313–320. In: Advanced Technology Assessment System, Issue 9, Biotechnology and Development. United Nations Publication E.92.II.A.15, New York.

  5. 5

    Simmonds, N.W. and Shepherd, K. 1955. The taxonomy and origins of the cultivated bananas. Journal of the Linnean Society of Botany 55: 302–312.

  6. 6

    Vuylsteke, D. and Swennen, R. 1992. Biotechnological approaches to plantain and banana improvement at IITA, p. 143–150. In: Biotechnology: Enhancing Research on Tropical Crops in Africa. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.

  7. 7

    Arias, O. 1993. Commercial micropropagation of banana, p. 139–142. In: Biotechnology Applications for Banana and Plantain Improvement. INIBAP Publication, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

  8. 8

    Swennen, R. and Resales, F.E. 1994. Bananas, p. 215–232. In: Encyclopedia of Agricultural Sciences, Vol 1. Arntzen, C. J. (Ed.). Academic Press, Inc., New York.

  9. 9

    Huggan, R.D. 1993. Are bananas and plantains catching up? Biotech. and Dev. Monitor 14: 14–16.

  10. 10

    Novak, F.J., Afza, R., Van Duren, M., Perea-Dallos, M., Conger, B.V. and Xiaolang, T. 1989. Somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration in suspension cultures of dessert (AA and AAA) and cooking (ABB) bananas (Musa spp.). Bio/Technology. 7: 154–159.

  11. 11

    Delmotte, F.M., Delay, D. and Cizeau, J. 1991. Agrobacterium vir-inducing activities of glycosylated acetosyringone, acetovanillone, syringaldehyde and syringic acid derivatives. Phytochem. 30 11: 3549–52.

  12. 12

    Fuchs, R.L., Ream, J.E., Hammond, B.G., Naylor, M.W., Leimgruber, R.M., and Berberich, S.A. 1993. Safety assessment of the neomycin phosphotransferase H (NPTII) protein. Bio/Technology 11: 1543–1547.

  13. 13

    Chan, M.-T., Chang, H.-H., Ho, S.-L., Tong, W.-F. and Yu, S.-M. 1993. Agrobaeterium-mediated production of transgenic rice plants expressing a chimeric α-amylase promoter/β-glucuronidase gene. Plant. Mol. Biol. 22: 491–506.

  14. 14

    Potrykus, I. 1991. Gene transfer to plants: assessment of published approaches and results. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 42: 205–225.

  15. 15

    Chilton, M.D. 1993. Agrobacterium gene transfer: progress on a “poor man's vector” for maize. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90: 3119–3120.

  16. 16

    Sagi, L., Panis, B., De Smet, K., Remy, S., Swennen, R. and Cammue, B.P.A. 1995. Genetic transformation of banana and plantain (Musa spp.) via particle bombardment. Bio/Technology 13: 481–485.

  17. 17

    Cronauer, S.S. and Krikorian, A.D. 1984. Rapid multiplication of bananas and plantains by in vitro shoot tip culture. Hort. Science 19: 234–235.

  18. 18

    Cronauer, S.S. and Krikorian, A.D. 1984. Multiplication of Musa from excised stem tips. Annals of Botany 53: 321–328.

  19. 19

    McElroy, D., Blowers, A.D., Jenes, B. and Wu, R. 1991 Construction of expression vectors based on the rice actin 1 (Actl) 5′ region for use in monocot transformation. Mol. and Gen. Genetics 231: 150–60.

  20. 20

    Finer, J.J., Vain, P., Jones, M.W. and McMullen, M.D. 1992. Development of the particle inflow gun for DNA delivery to plant cells. Plant Cell Reports 11: 323–328.

  21. 21

    Bidney, D., Scelonge, C., Martich, J., Burrus, M., Sims, L. and Huffman, S. 1992. Microprojectile bombardment of plant tissues increases transformation frequency by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Plant Molecular Biology 18: 301–313.

  22. 22

    Bradford, M.M. 1976. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantitites of protein utilizing the principle of protein dye binding. Anal. Biochem. 72: 248–254.

  23. 23

    Peng, J., Wen, F. and Hodges, T.K. 1993. A rapid method for qualitative assay of both neomycin phosphotransferase II and β-glucuronidasc activities hi transgenic plants. Plant. Mol. Biol. Rep. 11: 38–47.

  24. 24

    Jefferson, R.A. 1987. Assaying chimeric genes in plants: The GUS gene fusion system. Plant Mol. Biol. Rep. 5: 387–105.

  25. 25

    Stewart, C.N. Jr. and Via, L.E. 1993. A rapid CTAB DNA isolation technique for RAPD fingerprint and other PCR applications. Biotechniques 14: 748–750.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Charles J. Arntzen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading