Genomics of Tropical Crop Plants

Volume 1 of the series Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models pp 83-111

Genomics of Banana and Plantain (Musa spp.), Major Staple Crops in the Tropics

  • Nicolas RouxAffiliated withBioversity International, Parc Scientifique
  • , Franc-Christophe Baurens
  • , Jaroslav Doležel
  • , Eva Hřibová
  • , Pat Heslop-Harrison
  • , Chris Town
  • , Takuji Sasaki
  • , Takashi Matsumoto
  • , Rita Aert
    • , Serge Remy
    • , Manoel Souza
    • , Pierre Lagoda

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This chapter on Musa (banana and plantain) genomics covers the latest information on activities and resources developed by the Global Musa Genomics Consortium. Section 4.1 describes the morphology of the plant, its socio-economical importance and usefulness as an experimental organism. Section 4.2 describes the complexity of Musa taxonomy and the importance of genetic diversity. Section 4.3 details the genetic maps which have recently been developed and those that are currently being developed. Section 4.4 presents the five BAC libraries which are now publicly available from the Musa Genome Resource Centre and can be distributed in various forms under a material transfer agreement. Section 4.5 gives an overview of cytogenetics and genome organization, showing that the genus Musa has a quite high proportion of repetitive DNA; the discovery of the first para-retrovirus integrated in the genome makes it unique. Section 4.6 explains the first attempts to sequence the genome by BAC end sequencing, whole BAC sequencing, and reduced representation sequencing. Section 4.7 addresses functional genomics with the description of cDNA libraries, gene validation using gene trapping, mutation induction and tilling techniques, as well as genetic transformation. Section 4.8 draws overall conclusions. This chapter demonstrates that by organizing the Global Musa Genomics Consortium (currently comprising 33 member institutions from 23 countries), duplication of effort can be minimized and the results of Musa genomics research are rapidly made accessible to taxonomists, breeders and the biotechnology community.