The Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy's Banana Biotechnology Program is a global leader in agricultural technology innovations, specifically centring on the genetic improvement of bananas, one of the top 10 world food crops. It brings together recent advances in banana genomics and molecular breeding to provide real world solutions to the banana industry globally. The program has also made significant advances in solving nutritional and food security-related problems affecting developing countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
The program currently has active and extensive collaborations with the National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda for biofortification, the Malawi Department of Agricultural Research Services and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Kenya for banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) resistance and LaManna Premier Group, North Queensland Banana Research and Australian Banana Research for fusarium wilt tropical race 4 (TR4) resistance. Previous productive collaborations included projects in India, Vietnam, Thailand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and USA.
Students who have completed their PhD or MSc through the program come from very diverse backgrounds including Australia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
We greatly appreciate the commitment and excellent support from:
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- UK Department for International Development
- Australian Research Council
- LaManna Premier Group
- Australian Banana Growers
- NQ Banana Research
- Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Grants
- Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship Program
- Horticulture Innovation Australia
QUT collaborated with Uganda's National Agricultural Research Organisation, funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop a world first, nutrient dense Golden Banana which is rich in pro-vitamin A. This project’s mission is to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies in Uganda through biofortification of bananas, their staple food, and is now in its last phase of development leading to release of these new lifesaving banana varieties in Uganda.
We have developed transgenic Cavendish bananas with resistance to the devastating soil-borne fungus Fusarium wilt tropical race 4 (TR4). TR4 is moving around the world and has the capacity to kill more that 50% of the bananas grown worldwide, and poses a major threat to the US$15B banana global export industry.
Dr Dawit Kidanemariam
Ms Jen Kleidon
Senior Research Assistant
Ms Maiko Kato
Senior Research Assistant
Mr Anthony Brinin
Ms Amba Lawrence
Ms Georgie Stephan
Ms Kirsten Kenney
Ms Tess James