The main objectives are as follows :
* To determine the impacts of AM fungi on the in vitro cultivation systems of banana and plantain, their subsequent effects on the acclimatization phase of the plantlets in the nursery and their performance under field conditions.
* To assess the effects of AM fungi on the alleviating of major soil constraints: mineral deficiencies or toxicities and root parasitism.
* To develop AM fungal inoculum production and application strategies consistent with current banana and plantain production systems.
A successful association of in vitro produced AM fungi with micropropagated bananas and plantains is foreseen. A faster plantgrowth is expected during the acclimatization of the young plantlets in the nursery and hopefully a reduction in the use of chemicals. Increasing the mineral uptake rate in nutrientdepleted acid soils and the plant tolerance to root parasites concerns both extensive and intensive cropping systems. Information on the interest and effects of AM fungi inoculation programs for bananas and plantains should be improved.
The key activities envisaged are :
* Establishment of a collection of AM Fungi originating from banana and plantain fields in distinct soils conditions in Colombia, Cuba, the French West Indies and Cameroon: Andosols, Ferralsols, Acrisols, Vertisols.
* Improvement of monoxenic inoculum technologies of AM fungi.
* Determination of the AM fungi formulation and inoculation procedures for its implementation in micropropagated banana and plantain production systems.
* Determination of the effects of AM fungi on banana and plantain growth under abiotic stress (nutrient depletion and mineral toxicities) using nutrient flow condition.
* Assessment of the interactions between mycorrhized bananas and plantains and their main root parasites : the fungi Cylindrocladium spp. and Fusariumoxysporum var. cubense and the nematodes Radopholus similis, Pratylenchus goodeyi, Pratylenchus coffeae, Helicotylenchus multicinctus and Meloidogynespp.
* Study of the field performance of mycorrhized bananas and plantains under current production systems.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
10800 La Habana
38200 La Laguna - Tenerife
20 Chinchina - Caldas