Sustainable bananas in greenhouses: first ‘Dutch bananas’ harvested

Growing Dutch bananas in a greenhouse

Researchers from Wageningen University & Research are harvesting the first Dutch bananas this week. Boerenhart, a supplier of fresh and local products will offer the bananas as ‘regional product’ to restaurants and hospitals in the region of Wageningen. The cultivation took place on two types of substrates: coco peat and rock wool. This allows the growth of banana without the settlement of aggressive fungi.

In the greenhouses of the experimental farm Unifarm in Wageningen a unique research experiment has been carried out since January. Bananas grow in the greenhouse in pots and on a substrate, both artificial media for plant growth. “For the 100th anniversary of WUR, we developed this plan together with the local cooperation Boerenhart: the cultivation of a regional banana in the Wageningen greenhouses,” says Professor of Tropical Plant Pathology Gert Kema. “With this experiment we will investigate whether this cultivation offers prospects for further research into mastering Fusarium wilt. This is due to a soil borne fungal pathogen that threatens the banana production throughout the world. So we took the banana out of the soil.”

Read more about the Dutch banana here

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Transgenic Cavendish in the news

 

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:

logo the guardian, about transgenic cavendish
The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/16/bananapocalypse-genetic-modification-may-save-12bn-industry

 

 

logo Science Magazine, about transgenic cavendish, Fusariumwilt.org

 

 

 

Science Magazine
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/11/gm-banana-shows-promise-against-deadly-fungus-strain

 

 

logo Kemivärlden Biotech, about transgenic cavendish, Fusariumwilt.org
Kemivärlden Biotech in Sweden
https://www.kemivarldenbiotech.se/article/view/568166/resistent_banan_utvecklad_i_australien


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The threat of Panama Disease

In 2015 Dr Gert HJ Kema made aerial images of banana plantations in the Davao region of Mindanao, the Philippines; the heart of commercial Cavendish banana production for the export trade. The Tropical Race 4 lineage of the devastating fungal plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense that causes Panama disease has left its scars in the landscape. Parts of plantations have been wiped out by the fungus that is an increasing and continuos threat to Philippine banana prediction as it also affects many local cultivars.

 

 

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Panama disease research on German TV channel

In November 2015 we received a German TV crew at WUR who also visited our partners in Indonesia and the Philippines. On 5 January 2016 the TV program Quarks & Co of WDR1, a national TV channel in Germany, devoted a full broadcast to bananas. The threat of fungal diseases was beautifully covered. We expect that millions of German viewers now know much more about the importance of banana for food supply, income of people and societies around the globe, and about the plant diseases that threaten bananas worldwide.

Katharina Nickoleit, who was in the TV crew, also made a radio-item about the issue.

– The full Quarks & Co can be viewed at: http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/wissen/quarks/sendungen/uebersicht-banane-100.html

– The part made at the Philippines: http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/wissen/quarks/sendungen/banane-pilz-100.html

– Footage made in Indonesia: http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/wissen/quarks/sendungen/uebersicht-banane-100.html

 

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KIDS TV-PROGRAM "HET KLOKHUIS" VISITS BANANA SCIENTISTS IN WAGENINGEN

On Tuesday the 17th of February, the Dutch kids program “Het Klokhuis” will broadcast an item about the banana recorded in the greenhouses of Wageningen UR. TV-presenter Dolores and Dr. Gert Kema, teach the kids a lot about bananas and the impact of Panama disease and Black Sigatoka on global banana production.

Watch the program live on NPO 3 at 6.20 PM.

Missed the broadcast? Look it back via the NPO website, unfortunately only visible from the Netherlands.

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