Understanding the genetics of key traits is crucial to accelerate progress in breeding. We use genetic and genomic tools to develop molecular markers or predictive models for early selection in banana breeding. Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) linkage analysis and the development of predictive models for genomic selection are the two central approaches we are employing towards improving the breeding process. Diploid mapping populations, derived from crossing diploid banana accessions, are used for QTL analysis for pest and disease resistance. So far three mapping populations are being used to study the genetics of banana resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. race 1 and sub-race 4. Another population is being studied for banana resistance to weevils (Cosmopolites sordidus) and nematodes (Radopholus similis). Six more populations are being evaluated for segregation for other traits, including agronomic traits. The predictive models are being developed for yield-related traits. The training population is comprised of the breeding material and their progeny from NARO and IITA banana breeding programs; hence it is made of diploid, triploid and tetraploid banana genotypes.
IITA, Tanzania, Uganda
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
University of Malaya, Malaysia
Queensland University, Australia