Summary of the Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Musa Genetic Resources

  • Authors : Chase, R.; Laliberté, B.

  • Document type : Book

  • Year of publication : 2016

  • Publisher(s) : MusaNet

  • ISBN : 978-92-9255-054-7

  • Pages : 32

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : Dessert and cooking bananas (Musa spp.) are crops of great importance for both the subsistence and the livelihoods of people in developing countries. Banana is also one of the most popular fruits worldwide. From their origin in Southeast Asia and Melanesia, bananas have spread to and diversified in the Pacific, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The nature of banana as a vegetatively-propagated, mostly polyploid and relatively sterile crop poses unique constraints for its conservation, breeding and improvement. Scientists have recently sequenced the two original parent genomes (Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana) of most edible banana, which has led to a deeper understanding of Musa genetic diversity and its origins. New molecular techniques such as genotyping by sequencing (GBS), RADseq and next generation sequencing (NGS) are helping unlock the genetic potential of banana. By linking these tools to phenotypic data, the genetic improvement of banana can ultimately help minimize losses due to pests and diseases and other stresses such as drought. Selection and breeding efforts are also directed toward improving global productivity and nutrition. Implicit in the use of Musa diversity is the need to safeguard that diversity for future generations. National and regional ex situ collections, found in tropical regions across the globe, are working towards conserving and documenting their local banana diversity. These collections also play an important part in understanding the known diversity, through networks, partnerships and collaboration on activities such as the Taxonomic Reference Collection (TRC) exercise (see page 14). Increasing focus is also being placed on exploring in situ diversity growing on farms and in the wild. The Bioversity International Transit Centre's (ITC) global collection in Belgium aims to conserve all Musa species and cultivars by in vitro storage or cryopreservation, and is now also investing in conserving seeds of wild Musa species. The ITC has a mandate to distribute viable, virus-free material that has confirmed genetic integrity and is well documented for the benefit of all users.


  • Open access : Yes

  • Document on publisher's site : open View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN210332

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