Type: Book

Achieving sustainable cultivation of bananas Volume 2 Germplasm and genetic improvement


Dr Gert Kema is Professor of Tropical Plant Pathology and Head of the Department of Phytopathology at Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. He leads several international banana research programs, including interdisciplinary research projects and public-private-partnerships focusing on Panama disease and black Sigatoka. He is a cofounder of several spin-off companies focusing on banana improvement, disease management and bioprocessing. Dr André Drenth is Professor in Tropical Plant Pathology and theme leader for crop protection in the Centre for Horticultural Science at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), at the University of Queensland. He leads several projects on tropical plant diseases and he initiated and led a national Banana Plant Protection Programme set up to protect Australia’s banana industry from the impact of a range of pests and diseases.



Publication date:

27 October 2020

Length of book:

380 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786763440

Hardback - £170.00
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Bananas are the world’s most exported and valuable fruit. However, banana production faces a number of challenges, including a very narrow genetic base for commercial cultivation which leaves the crop highly vulnerable to a range of diseases and other stresses. There is an urgent need to improve existing and develop new varieties which retain key yield and quality characteristics whilst improving resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses.

The book begins with a discussion of progress in identifying and broadening the genetic base for Musa species. Chapters review ways of classifying banana cultivars, exploiting current collections of germplasm and collecting and evaluating wild Musa species and landraces. Parts 3 and 4 review advances in both conventional and recent molecular breeding techniques and their application in producing improved varieties. Topics include improving fertility and other traits in Cavendish, developing hybrid varieties as well as techniques for genetic improvement.

Key features

  • Focus on key issues in expanding the genetic base for Musa, including, exploiting current collections of germplasm and collecting and evaluating wild Musa species and landraces 
  • Covers methods for improving fertility, resistance and other traits in Cavendish 
  • Reviews the range of conventional and modern molecular techniques for breeding new banana varieties

What others are saying...

"The editors have assembled a team of leading researchers in banana germplasm and genetic improvement with many years of expertise. This comprehensive compilation takes into account the important and diverse factors affecting long-term banana production sustainability. It will be an important resource for the research community but will be of value to producers and consumers as well.”Dr Brian Irish, USDA-ARS PGITRU, USA

Table of contents

1.Overview of genetic improvement in bananas over the last century: Mike Smith, Queensland Department of Agriculture, Australia

Part 1 Classification
2.The genetics of Musa: an overview: Hans de Jong, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;
3.Classifying banana cultivars: Jeff Daniells, Queensland Department of Agriculture, Australia;
4.Exploiting current collections of Musa species: Valentin Guignon, Bioversity International, France;

Part 2 Broadening the genetic base
5.Scope of collecting wild Musa species germplasm: Julie Sardos, Bioversity International, France;
6.Collection and evaluation of wild Musa species: further prospects in Asia: Hugo Volkaert, National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Thailand;
7.Collection and evaluation of landraces in Africa: Guy Blomme, Bioversity International, Uganda;
8.Identification, preservation, and storage of wild Musa germplasm samples: Bart Panis, Bioversity International, Belgium;
9.Safe dissemination of germplasm resources: John Thomas, University of Queensland, Australia;

Part 3 Genetic improvement through breeding
10.The range of conventional breeding techniques: an overview: Frederic Bakry, CIRAD, France;
11.Overcoming the fertility crisis in bananas: Delphine Amah, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria;
12.Targeted improvement of Cavendish clones: Eli Khayat, Rahan Meristem/Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel;
13.Developing hybrid varieties with improved properties: Edson Amorim, EMBRAPA, Brazil;
14.Genetic modification of bananas: James Dale, Queensland University of Technology, Australia;
15.Genetic approaches to improve abiotic stress factors in banana: Sebastien Carpentier, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium;