Banana breeding at CIRAD: creating resistant new cultivars to avoid the use of pesticides

F. Salmon, F. Bakry, J.C. Efile, S. Ricci, L. Toniutti, J.P. Horry
Banana production worldwide whether grown for export trade, domestic markets or local consumption is threatened by several diseases and pests. Beside its many disadvantages in terms of cost, there are social and environment drawbacks, and chemical control for pest and disease control is not allowed in organic production, whether during cultivation or postharvest. Black Sigatoka and Fusarium tropical race 4 are the most devastating fungal diseases, with the recent spread of the later, reinforcing its concern in Latin America and the Caribbean. CIRAD has invested in banana genetic improvement for pests and diseases resistance through an innovative conventional breeding approach called “reconstructive breeding”. Initially focused on Black Sigatoka resistance, agronomic performances, fruit qualities adapted to markets and consumer demands, the current selection process includes search for resistance to Fusarium wilt. In parallel to reconstructive breeding the development of molecular tools have led to a deep understanding of the genome structure and genetic diversity of bananas. This understanding provides critical information to select and manage parents in pre-breeding and breeding effort. We present here the multidisciplinary and collaborative global breeding strategy developed by CIRAD that has led to select novel dessert banana hybrid cultivars resistant to Black Sigatoka and Fusarium TR4.
Salmon, F., Bakry, F., Efile, J.C., Ricci, S., Toniutti, L. and Horry, J.P. (2023). Banana breeding at CIRAD: creating resistant new cultivars to avoid the use of pesticides. Acta Hortic. 1367, 201-208
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1367.23
Black leaf streak, crossbreeding, disease resistance, Fusarium, genetic improvement, Musa

Acta Horticulturae