Strengthening the Link Between Musa Genomics and Genetic Resource Applications through Characterization, Evaluation, Conservation and Data Management

Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Time: 12:10 PM
Room: Pacific Salon 6-7 (2nd Floor)
Nicolas Roux , Bioversity International, Montpellier, France
Rachel Chase , Bioversity International, Montpellier Cedex 5, France
Christopher D. Town , J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD
Following a suite of recent achievements, particularly the unveiling of the A and B genomes, Musagenomics has entered a second phase, with the aim of harnessing the global genetic diversity to ultimately improve banana and plantain breeding and management. Similar post-sequence research efforts are being developed in other crops such as rice, cassava, potato and soybean.

The vision of the draft revised Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Musa Genetic Resources is a world in which Musa genetic resources diversity is secured, valued and used to support livelihoods through sustainable production. The Strategy builds upon existing strengths in the national, regional and global collections by bringing people together to conserve, add value and promote the use and safe distribution of a wide range of Musagenetic diversity as the foundation for further breeding and direct use by farmers. To support the implementation of the Strategy, a collaborative framework, MusaNet, was put into place.

Genomic tools can realize many of the above activities, including the application of molecular characterization (e.g. SSR/DArTs/GBS); new transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics methods for high-throughput phenotyping; subsequent gap filling of collections through more precise taxonomic classification; and the availability of an integrated suite of databases and bioinformatic platforms.

Many of these tools are already utilized by MusaNet members and the Global Musa Genomics Consortium (GMGC) has been formally represented in the MusaNet Expert Committee since 2011. Such collaboration needs to be further developed in the second phase of genomics research.