We are pleased to announce the upcoming ISHS/ProMusa Symposium that will be held as one of the symposia of the 29th International Horticultural Congress in Brisbane, Australia on 17-22 August, 2014.
Banana acts as a starchy staple food crop for approximately 500 million people, particularly those in the least developed countries, where many poor families are involved in its cultivation and many others benefit as consumers. In many parts of the world, productivity remains well below the optimum and, in certain areas, pitifully poor. Banana is also a potential gold mine of vitamins and micronutrients. With the banana genome recently unravelled, that potential is now more than ever ready to be exploited by the scientific community beyond boundaries not yet imagined. The genome sequence provides access to the plant’s over 36,000 genes, making it possible to identify those genes responsible for particular traits, such as disease resistance, dwarfism, fruit quality and many more, and opening up many exciting new opportunities.
This symposium will take stock of ongoing research efforts with the impact of the recently sequenced genome but also other areas of research. Special attention will be given to Fusarium wilt tropical race 4, which is already a major problem in Asia and poses a huge threat for banana production in Africa and Latin America. The contribution of banana to human health and nutrition will also be highlighted, with a special focus on the crop’s diversity.