Work Package 1: Banana Breeding Pipeline

Bananas are difficult to breed because of its complex genetics, low genetic variability, polyploidy and the low levels of female and/or male fertility in most widely-grown triploid clones. Past efforts to develop East African Highland Banana (EAHB: Matooke) hybrids by the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) of Uganda in collaboration with IITA has led to the development of 27 EAHB …

Work Package 2: Pest and Disease Control

Due to its clonal nature, banana is amongst the most disease and pest vulnerable of all agricultural crops. Plant resistance is the best means to control diseases and pests of banana, especially for smallholder farmers. The importance of Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense), Sigatoka diseases (Mycosphaerella musicola and M. fijiensis), nematodes (Radopholus similis, Helicotylenchus multicinctus, Meloidogyne spp., Pratylenchus …

Work Package 3: Leveraging the genetics of traits in banana breeding

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. …

Work Package 4: Empowering End-User Evaluation

Using a multi-location participatory varietal selection (PVS) approach we evaluate 27 promising EAHB hybrids, called NARITAs. Regional testing of the hybrids using multi-location field trials in the range of expected end-user environments provide for an ideal experimental design to understand how site conditions interact to affect the performance and adoption potential of each hybrid. Working in close collaboration with farmers …

Work Package 5: Harnessing Data

We aim to drive improved efficiency of breeding systems and enhanced synergy in national, regional and global partnerships through an open-source database and tool box for banana breeders and researchers. The musabase website has been established and accession and trial data is being loaded into the database by the breeding partners. NARO, Uganda