Australian’s Queensland government is attempting to restrict
the spread of the destructive Panama disease TR4 in Australia. To tackle the
spread of the disease, the government injected the Australian Banana Growers’
Council with AUD$12.1 million in funding, calling upon the banana industry to
join in cost-sharing.
In Australia, the disease was first discovered in 2015, and has thusfar been contained to three farms in total.
The editorial team is headed by Prof. Gert Kema and includes Prof. André Drenth, University of Queensland, Dr. Miguel Dita, Embrapa, Brazil, and the Wageningen University and Research colleagues Drs. Jetse Stoorvogel, Sietze Vellema and Kees Jansen, who are all involved in the INREF program.
On January 24, National Geographic visited WUR and filmed during a course that Prof. Kema is teaching on Frontiers in Medical and Veterinary Biology. They were particularly interested in banana research and visited the Unifarm Greenhouse facility to film ongoing trials and experiments of students. The footage will be part of flagship National Geographic Explorer program and results from the NG Magazine article on Future Farming in The Netherlands. The NG Explorer program will be broadcasted in the autumn of 2018 and reaches approximately 400 million people in 171 countries in 45languages.
The big news of the first transgenic Cavendish banana resistant to TR4 has reached the press. In the Netherlands one of the main national news channels (NOS) made an item for their website. Fernando Garcia Bastidas, one of the banana researchers at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, explains about the breakthrough in this excellent video made by NOS. Most of the item is in the English language, so we think it is well worth watching. https://nos.nl/op3/artikel/2204634-waarom-je-straks-misschien-geen-banaan-meer-kan-eten.html
Some of the other digital media covering the news:
We are proud to present our new website: www.fusariumwilt.org . Panamadisease.org will maintain accessible, but there is a serious plea to dissociate the name Panama from the disease in banana. The main reason, though was to keep up with the current requirements to ensure a future proof site that can also be viewed on mobile devices. The positive feed-back on the previous site was overwhelming and hence, we hope you enjoy visiting the new website even more.
The new website is fully responsive, so it will look great on your dekstop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. The new site was designed and built by Neo & Co.
Ioannis Stergiopoulos, Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis; André Drenth, Professor of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland and Gert Kema, Special Professor of Phytopathology, Wageningen University wrote an article for ‘The conversation’, the communication platform with ‘Academic rigour & journalistic flair’. With the article, Ioannis, André and Gert try to answer the question whether science can help the endangered Cavendish banana to survive. The piece attracted very much interest of news media, it even reached the homepage of CNN.
The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. Their team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.