The CIRAD announced that the results of the study have been published in the scientific review Nature on July 11th. The research was achieved together with the CEA-Genoscope (the French National Sequencing Center) and funded by the ANR (the main French research funding organization).
The research works have been achieved within the Global Musa Genomics Consortium.
The key role many banana species play in the tropical food production was one of the main motivations behind the sequencing of its genome. Bananas are a target of genetic engineering not only because most cultivated breeds have a very low fertility rate, but also because they suffer from a number of nasty plant pathogens that hinder their exportation. The sequencing of the genome of Musa acuminata is expected to allow researchers to have a better understanding of the genes responsible for disease resistance and for the quality of the fruit.
In June 2011, the International Cocoa Genome Sequencing Consortium, led by the CIRAD, achieved the sequencing of a Belize cocoa species well-known for its excellent aromas. Since 2011, the CIRAD, together with another French research center, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (French Research Institute for Development, or IRD) has also been working on the sequencing of the genome of coffee.
In May 2012, the INRA achieved the sequencing of the genome of the tomato in collaboration with the international Tomato Genome Consortium. The INRA also achieved in August 2007 the complete sequencing of the grape genome, a cooperative French/Italian project. In 2008, INRA launched the TriticeaeGenome project, which achieved the development of our knowledge on the genomics of wheat and barley and the creation of a panel of new varieties.
To learn more:
Have a look at the Nature paper: The banana (Musa acuminata) genome and the evolution of monocotyledonous plants Main author: Angélique D’Hont (CIRAD)