Bananas are major staple in developing countries and the most eaten fruit in Europe. Global banana production is constrained by several diseases that are responsible for yield losses and low productivity of bananas and severely compromise food security. Particularly banana production is seriously threatened by four vascular diseases, Fusarium wilt disease of banana caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc), Moko and banana blood diseases, caused by Ralstonia solanacearum and R. syzygii subsp. celebesensis, respectively) and Xanthomonas wilt of banana caused by Xanthomonas vasicola pv. musacearum. Efficiency of surveillance and plant disease management requires the availability of Point of care (POC) diagnostics that can be operated directly on site. INDICANTS project focuses on (i) the development of a low-cost multi-pathogens LAMP (Loop-mediated isothermal amplification) detection kit, and its validation via an interlaboratory test and field surveys. (ii) the evaluation of an emergent technology (CRISPR/Cas12a) for the diagnosis of Foc. (iii) the test of an innovative microneedle patch for DNA extraction from plant. This project relies on a two-way transfer of knowledge and expertise between the applicant and Stellenbosch University: the applicant will access to areas where the diseases are present, will acquire through hands-on training and training-through-research, new expertise and skills in genetics/biotechnology, thereby strengthening the future career prospects. The partner organisation will gain experience and knowledge on bacterial banana diseases and LAMP method. Actions of protection and exploitation of the outputs will be set up, with the involvement of an industrial partner. Besides the scientific publications and conferences, the results will be disseminated to different audiences: the general public (website, press and TV), plant protection services (workshops) MSc students (lectures), schoolchildren (Platform visits).
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Funding SchemeMSCA-IF-GF - Global Fellowships