What is the Global Alliance doing right now?
Prevention and Training
We are developing a wide range of initiatives to limit the spread of TR4. These include:
- Building a set of standard and globally accepted biosecurity practices, which can be customized to meet regional and local contexts
- Developing training modules for delivery in face-to-face and digital formats
- Disseminating soil testing kits and other tools for TR4 detection
- Working with governments to establish national and regional TR4 contingency plans
- Training national TR4 experts in various countries, who can run workshops
- Establishing and building partnerships with global and regional organizations
- Developing activities that contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic development, and to the improvement of the livelihoods of banana producers
Breeding and Genetics
We have devised a three-stage programme:
Build capacity for evaluation.
This includes assembling teams of biotechnologists and pathologists, building capacity for high-throughput screening, establishing reference genomes, and developing new editing techniques.
Identify natural resistance.
The next step is to screen a wide range of banana varieties for potential resistance. With enough data, we can map candidate genes for loss of susceptibility to TR4, identify markers to assist breeding, and establish a potential path forward for gene editing.
Develop resistant varieties.
Once natural alleles for resistance are isolated, we can begin a breeding programme to evaluate candidate strains. We will also work with regulators worldwide to advance evaluation and product development as quickly as possible, while ensuring safety.
Methods of Control
Here our programme includes:
- Testing and designing innovative production methods, including optimized fertilization concepts and fungicide efficacy
- Establishing the role of biological and microbiome solutions
- Determining the interaction between insects, nematodes and weeds in relation to TR4’s spread and persistence
- Establishing a platform for aerial and on-ground TR4 diagnostics
- Building capacity and tools for laboratories to identify and analyze TR4
Holding a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral donor meeting in Q3/4 2021
By combining the technical expertise, global networks and resources of a broad range of food value chain stakeholders with donors, our intention is to set the Alliance up for long-term success.
Defining and further developing region-specific budgets, implementation timelines and specific operational requirements for each workstream.