Open Science Meeting 2014
Programme MC-PS

Programme MC-PS

Master Class Plant Sciences

Title: The Indonesian treasure: Banana for the world – the power of genetics and genomics

Location: Hotel Clarion Makassar

Period: 29 January 2014

Indonesian and Dutch Organisor

Dr. Catur Hermanto, Indonesia

Dr. Gert HJ Kema, Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Background topic Master Class

Banana is apart from the world’s favorite fruit a staple crop to millions of people throughout the tropics. All edible bananas are seedless and usually have three genomes, which significantly complicates conventional breeding. Cultivated bananas including desert bananas (AAA), cooking bananas (AAA or ABB) and plantains (AAB) have a narrow genetic base. In addition, the vast majority of current domesticated bananas have not been genetically improved for various pest and pathogen resistances.

A major thread in the banana cultivation is the Panama disease that caused an iconic epidemic in Latin America in the previous century and South-East Asia. As the fourth most important food crop, sustaining bananas is crucial for the world food production as only 15% of the global production is being exported. The remaining 85% is destined for local markets.

Evidently, the development of genetic tools will accelerate breeding programs, but there are so few that meeting urgent market demands – such as disease resistance – cannot be fulfilled. Hence, genetic engineering is virtually the only valid option, particularly when genes exclusively from wild banana are used. Such lines of research essentially improve popular and preferred cultivars in a much shorter time frame.

Ongoing research has already resulted in bio-fortified bananas with provitamin A and microelements, which aims at preventing micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamin A deficiency and iron deficiency anemia. This Master Class brings the latest on the interface between genetics and genomics to cope with the global problems that threaten banana and hence peasant livelihoods.

Contents Master Class and goal

Banana as a food crop and commodity will be introduced as well as the major diseases that threaten production. The complexity of breeding bananas will be illustrated and compared with other crops. The potential of accelerating breeding by using modern tools as well as genetic engineering will be illustrated with a focus on genetics and genomics.



Dr. Catur Hermanto; Plant diseases in tropical crops
Prof. Siti Subandiyah: Diagnosis and Management of Banana Diseases in Indonesia
Dr. GHJ Kema: Panama disease in banana
Prof. Dr. Hans de Jong; Development and utilization of genomic tools to support banana breeding
Dr. Hugo Volkaert: Bioinformatics supporting the population genetics of food crops
Dr. Agus Sutanto: Taxonomy of wild Indonesian bananas and their potential for crop improvement
Prof Baharudin, Hasanuddin University, Makasar, Indonesia: Title tba

After these presentations the programme continues with presentations from participants and group/individual discussions with participants about plans or suggestions.

Who can participate?

All interested OSM participants, PhD students and post-docs as well as growers, traders and retailers