Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MUSA (Microbial Uptakes for Sustainable management of major bananA pests and diseases)
Période du rapport: 2018-12-01 au 2020-05-31
Plant parasitic nematodes (PPN), Panama disease (PD, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense) and weevils (BW, Cosmopolites sordidus) are main threats to banana (Musa spp.) and enset (Ensete ventricosum) in Canary Islands, Caribbean and Africa. In sub Saharan Africa (SSA) many pesticides already withdrawn or restricted in the EU continue to be (mis)used, with threats to farmers, environment and consumers. In Ethiopia, enset is a crucial staple crop for million people, exposed to PPN and BW. A new emerging and severe race of PD, F. oxysporum TR4, can attack Cavendish bananas and is spreading from Asia and Middle East to other areas.
Banana is a high income export crop and a basic diet component in the EU and the world. In SSA and Caribbean regions million farmers rely on cooking bananas as key staple food and for income. In tropical and sub-tropical farms the Cavendish variety replaced Gros Michel for export, as the latter is susceptible to PD. Hundred local varieties are used in the tropics for domestic consumption. In tropical and sub-tropical systems, pests and diseases cause billion € losses, affecting the food security of million small growers, and income of both small holders and commercial growers. TR4 is a severe threat to the lives and food security of million people in SSA and Caribbean.
MUSA aims at developing new Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods based on microbial consortia and banana or enset germplasm, including new hybrids, studying phenotypic and molecular reactions of plants to various biotic stresses. Main goal is to achieve a sustainable intensification of crops, improving their resilience through locally adapted IPM strategies based on beneficial microorganisms and tested germplasm. Partners will collect and characterize suitable beneficial microorganisms, evaluating in the field their interactions with selected banana lines, and identify the genes involved in resistant/tolerant or succumbent/susceptible responses. Beneficial microbes include endophytes and biocontrol agents (EBCAs). Field trials for efficacy will be conducted in subsistence small-scale farming systems (low income, small holders, SSA) and intensive export-oriented crops (Canary Islands, Caribbean). Dissemination, communication and exploitation actions will ensure persistence of the Project impact after completion.
Substituting pesticides with safe IPM methods is a key MUSA approach. Sustainable approaches (e.g. resistance, EBCAs) have often been used separately, neglecting the complex communications of plants with microbes. Our work relies on the biology of EBCAs and their metabolites, to interfere with pest/disease communication in roots, or priming plant defence system. New plant lines and genomic traits will be used, conferring resistance/tolerance. A practical aspect is the distribution of safe plantlets to farmers, through regional organizations. Linking EBCAs with the distribution of healthy plantlets provides a feasible strategy to achieve our goals. A key factor is the collaboration in research, integrating communication and dissemination with field farming schools to keep impact after project completion.