IITA News

Managing Xanthomonas Wilt of Banana (BXW) using Single Diseased Stem Removal (SDSR) technique

Managing Xanthomonas Wilt of Banana (BXW) using Single Diseased Stem Removal (SDSR) technique

Xanthomonas wilt has been affecting banana fields in Rwanda since 2005. Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resource Development Board (RAB), and IITA introduced the Single Diseased Stem Removal technique, considered as the best approach to fight the disease in Rwanda. Watch new video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4mGpm00vD0) about the SDSR technique on IITA’s…

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Novel and effective technique to control Banana Xanthomonas wilt is suitable for Rwandan agroecology

Novel and effective technique to control Banana Xanthomonas wilt is suitable for Rwandan agroecology

Banana is a major commodity in Rwanda, used as both a cash and (staple) food crop; it covers 23% of Rwanda’s land and is grown by 90% of households. Rwanda is one of the largest banana producers in the East Africa Region and ranks second in banana consumption globally with an annual per capita consumption…

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New publication tackles the major challenges facing banana production

Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing are delighted to announce the publication of their new title – Achieving sustainable cultivation of bananas – Volume 2: Germplasm and genetic improvement. The book offers an authoritative discussion on the progress of identifying and broadening the genetic base for Musa species and reviews current conventional and molecular breeding techniques for breeding new varieties of banana.  This new…

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Progressive heterobeltiosis for bunch weight in bred ‘Matooke’ banana hybrids (NARITAs). A: ‘Entukura’ (3x female grandparent), B: ‘1438K-1’ (4x female parent) and C: ‘NARITA 17’ (3x hybrid)

Banana hybrids can more than double the yield of best parents

Hybrid crops are expected to have higher edible yields than their parents, but by how much? A team of researchers comparing the performance of the East Africa Highland banana, locally known as ‘Matooke’, found that some hybrids had bunch weights that were up to two and a half times heavier than those of their best…

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IITA paper on genome editing among most read Open Access journal

IITA paper on genome editing among most read Open Access journal

A paper by an IITA Principal Scientist, Leena Tripathi, on ‘CRISPR/Cas9 editing of endogenous banana streak virus in the B genome of Musa spp. overcomes a major challenge in banana breeding’ was the second most downloaded paper in Communications Biology, an open access (OA) journal. The paper has had more than 12,000 downloads to date,…

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The Belgian Ambassador to Uganda commends IITA’s efforts to transform the agriculture sector

Belgian Ambassador commends IITA’s efforts to transform Ugandan agriculture sector

His Excellency Rudi Veestraeten, the Belgian Ambassador to Uganda, visited the IITA-Uganda substation at Sendusu on 30 October. The Ambassador was accompanied by the Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Belgian Development Cooperation, Mr Koen Van Acoleyen. The visit was on the invitation of Rony Swennen, IITA’s senior banana breeder. The Ambassador and his…

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Paper on using genome-editing tools to develop climate-smart banana varieties among the top-most downloaded

While banana is an important staple crop feeding more than 500 million people in the tropical and subtropical countries, its production is negatively affected by a myriad of factors including diseases and pests, declining soil fertility, and climate change. Efforts to develop improved disease resistant and drought tolerant banana varieties are, however, slowed down by…

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Unlocking the diversity of microorganisms around banana roots

Unlocking the diversity of microorganisms around banana roots

The human body hosts trillions of microorganisms both inside and on the skin. Many of them are beneficial and help in the digestion of food, making vitamins, and boosting the body’s immune systems, among other things. Similarly, for plants, the soils around the roots host diverse microorganisms, some of which are beneficial to the plants,…

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Banana plants’ defense against deadly wilting disease may be in the soil

Banana plants’ defense against deadly wilting disease may be in the soil

Fusarium wilt, a soilborne fungal disease popularly known as Panama disease, is one of the most devastating diseases of banana. It is responsible for the crop’s declining yield in the Great Lakes region of Africa, where banana is a major source of food and income for millions of smallholder farmers. The disease is spread by…

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Tanzania’s traditional cooking banana yields more than expected!

The yield potential of an important cooking banana in Tanzania, known as Mchare, has exceeded expectations! Yields of up to 51 t/ha/year were obtained by the study team. Mchare, alongside Uganda’s “Matooke” is one of the East Africa Highland (EAHB) bananas that are cultivated both for food and income by millions of smallholder farmers in…

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