ProMusa is organised in three thematic working groups that work closely together to encourage inter-disciplinary thinking and enable a more rapid response to changing research. It is possible for the three working groups to divide into special interest groups based on the needs of the members. Each working group is convened by a chairperson and a vice-chairperson who work closely together and liaise with the other working groups.


Chair: Robert Miller
Vice-chair: Edson Amorim

Crop Improvement Working Group

The ProMusa Crop Improvement Working Group focuses on the following areas:
1.    Conservation and characterisation of Musa genetic resources, with activities on collection, conservation, characterisation, selection techniques, GxE evaluation of germplasm, genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, gene discovery, safe distribution and data management, incl. bioinformatics;
2.    Developing the capacity of breeding programmes, through the evaluation and selection of parents, development and utilisation of segregating populations, molecular linkage maps, new molecular markers, GM technology, production of doubled haploids, somatic hybrids and mutants, and development and utilisation of improved varieties.

The working group met during the symposium on "Recent advances in banana crop protection for sustainable production and improved livelihoods” in South Africa in September 2007. Read the report (PDF, 36 kB) of that working group meeting, with a summary of the discussions about the working group outputs and activities.

The working group also held a workshop during the symposium on “Global Perspectives on Asian Challenges” in China in 2009.


Chair: Randy Ploetz
Vice-chair: Danny Coyne

Crop Protection Working Group

The ProMusa Crop Protection working group focuses on the following areas:
1.    Investigation of the diversity of pathogens infecting banana and develop diagnostic tests, including collections, characterisation and development of diagnostic assays for Fusarium, Mycosphaerella and viruses, as well as Mycosphaerella and Fusarium genomics;
2.    Promotion and development of integrated pest and disease management technologies, including evaluation of cultivars for pest/disease response, fungicide reduction for the control of Mycosphaerella leaf spot diseases, and biological control of soil-borne pests and diseases;
3.    Baseline studies for emerging pathogens, such as disease risk assessment for banana streak viruses and epidemiological studies on Xanthomonas wilt in Africa.

The working group met during the symposium on “Recent advances in banana crop protection for sustainable production and improved livelihoods” in South Africa in September 2007. Read the report (PDF, 120 kB) of that working group meeting, with a summary of the discussions about the working group outputs and activities.

The working group also held a workshop during the symposium on “Global Perspectives on Asian Challenges” in China in 2009.


Chair: Jeff Daniells
Vice-chair: Thierry Lescot

Crop Production Working Group

The ProMusa Crop Production working group focuses on the following areas:
1.    Production research issues not directly addressed by the other working groups, such as crop modelling and climate change, research on nutrient requirements, post harvest and processing, and soil and growth promoting substances;
2.    Integration of the work from the other working groups and other research groups, for instance through integrated production systems for addressing pest and disease problems, and evaluation of improved cultivars for agronomic and post-harvest characteristics;
3.    Ensuring research results get delivered to the end-users, with activities on clean seed systems, marketing and economics, technology transfer and a knowledge resource centre.

The working group met for the first time during the symposium on “Recent advances in banana crop protection for sustainable production and improved livelihoods” in South Africa in September 2007. Read the report (PDF, 30 kB) of that working group meeting, with a summary of the discussions about the working group outputs and activities.

The working group held its second meeting during the “International Conference on Banana and Plantain in Africa” in Kenya in October 2008. Read the report (PDF, 49 kB) of that working group meeting and a summary of the discussions.