The sequence of the banana genome, recently unravelled, 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 open up many exciting new opportunities.
The aim of the ISHS/ProMusa Symposium, held as one of the symposia of the 29th International Horticultural Congress in Brisbane, Australia on 17-22 August, 2014, was to take stock of ongoing research efforts with the impact of the recently sequenced genome, and how this has influenced various areas of banana research. Special attention has been 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 was also highlighted, with a special focus on Pacific bananas. Most of the presentations made during the symposium are now available on the Promusa website.