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Crop Biotech Update

CIRAD To Complete Banana Genomic Sequence

September 18, 2009

The French Agricultural Research for Developing Countries (CIRAD) and Genoscope in Evry has recently announced their collaboration to decipher the 600 megabases of the banana genome in over two years. Banana is one of the important staples in many developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific. It is however threatened by major diseases including Panama disease (fusariosis), black leaf streak or sigatoka (cercosporiosis), or the disease caused by ‘Banana Bunchy Top Virus'. The genomic sequencing of banana would be a big contribution to help identify interesting genetic characteristics for varietal improvement including disease resistance, yield, and nutrition.

The scientists are using different molecular tools and resources developed by CIRAD, with support from the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) and the Global Musa Genomics Consortium (GMGC) that include banks of large DNA fragments (BAC libraries), molecular markers and genetic maps. It is hoped that the complete sequence will be totally and freely accessible in the Internet in the next two years.

See  the press release at http://www.cirad.fr/en/actualite/communique.php?id=1173