Moses Nyine of IITA explains about his research in a banana field in Uganda.
Photo: © IITA

16.03.2018

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An international team of scientists have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to speed up banana breeding using genomic prediction models that accurately select banana hybrids with desired traits.

Researchers at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, and research institutes in the Czech Republic and in Belgium were able to prove in a recent study that it is possible to speed up banana breeding using genomic prediction models that accurately select banana hybrids with desired traits.

The models use the plant’s genetic data (DNA landmarks) to estimate its usefulness in breeding and predict the physical traits such as height, yield, and disease resistance before it is taken to the field. This study, published in the scientific journal The Plant Genome, “Genomic prediction in a multiploid crop: genotype by environment interaction and allele dosage effects on predictive ability in banana”, provides the first empirical evidence on the use of genomic prediction in a banana population.

Why speed up banana breeding?

Bananas, an important staple and source of income for millions of people in 120 tropical and subtropical countries, are by nature, sterile crops.

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