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Ongoing project

New varieties for Australian banana growers (BA21002)

Key research provider: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

What's it all about?

This investment is identifying banana varieties from global breeding programs with TR4 resistance and evaluating their performance in Australian conditions.

The research team will identify and develop commercially acceptable disease-resistant banana varieties for banana producers by:

  • Identifying, accessing and evaluating new banana varieties from international breeding programs with superior agronomic performance, resistance to priority diseases, and enhanced product quality under Australian growing environments.
  • Supporting the maintenance of a collection of diverse banana varieties for the Australian banana industry.
  • Fostering strong international partnerships, including creating new opportunities for the development of new cavendish varieties for Australian growers.
  • Developing data packages to communicate the performance of new banana varieties to Australian growers.

Four Centre de coopération International en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) hybrids demonstrated good resistance to yellow Sigatoka leaf disease, but they did not measure up on their other agronomic characteristics being considerably taller and much lower yielding than Williams Cavendish. Seventeen Cavendish lines were assessed for resistance, but none were any better than Williams. All were rated as very susceptible to yellow Sigatoka.

The next phase of the work has begun with a field walk at South Johnstone Research Facility held in October for selected grower and supply chain representatives. Attendees had the opportunity to see ratoon bunches on some of the better selections and to taste fruit of those selections. Their input was sought to help guide future development of the select lines through the pre-commercialisation trial phase.

During this reporting period, an article was published in Australian Bananas (page 18-19) that outlines the varieties showing resistance to TR4 in Northern Territories trials: Click here to read.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund