Accessing new banana varieties. Why, how and who gets them

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1 Accessing new banana varieties Why, how and who gets them Sharon Hamill Subprogram 2 Banana Plant Protection program Safeguarding production and markets

2 Why we can get new banana varieties SP2: Safeguarding Production and Markets 2 main aims : Reduced risk from incursions of emergency and endemic plant pests. Improved capability to effectively manage incursions Providing opportunity for market development by providing safe access to International banana germplasm.

3 Why do we need new banana varieties Industry faces disease and market pressure. Banana diseases are now in Australia that attack all our commercial varieties. Other diseases threaten from nearby countries. Current examples in Australia are Tropical Race 4 Fusarium wilt (Panama disease), Exotic freckle in the Northern Territory and black Sigatoka that moves in from neighbouring infected areas in Far North Queensland

4 Why we need new banana varieties We need to develop and expand a wider market for long term industry resilience & need to develop export markets Need to address market threats from imported Cavendish

5 Why we need new banana cultivars We have imported many cultivars over the years and the important cultivars have been maintained in the Australian tissue culture collection. They were introduced for other disease research such as for resistance to black Sigatoka and subtropical Race 4 of Fusarium wilt. We use varieties in the collection in research and also for trial against new banana diseases, and for attributes wanted for the consumer (niche) Tolerant varieties TR4 Foc have been identified from the current collection are: DPM25, Formosana, CJ19, GCTCV119 Others with potential, High Noon, FHIA 18

6 But we need find marketable resistant varieties for industry to have sustainable & profitable production. We can t afford a breeding scheme. We access those improved varieties developed by several different overseas breeding programmes. Each of the organisations use different breeding strategies and genetic base of varieties. We can access new varieties by collaborating with research colleagues and providing security for the varieties and feed back during evaluation.

7 We want to get new varieties but not exotic diseases Banana plants in overseas countries have many diseases that we don t have in Australia. Tissue culture removes pests and soil on plants and can eliminate some diseases but not all. If virus was in the sucker used to establish the tissue culture then virus might also be in the tissue culture. DAFF provide, with industry support, a stringent quarantine program for banana, along with development of diagnostic banana disease tests.

8 How we get the new banana varieties safely Subprogram 2 delivers the quarantine processes via 3 Quarantine facilities- Now managed by banana scientists entry and release only facility in Australia for banana Maroochy Research Facility (Nambour) quarantine QC2 tissue culture laboratory post entry screening EcoSciences Precinct (Brisbane) -quarantine virus indexing laboratory -banana quarantine glasshouse

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10 What gets imported Banana varieties are mostly imported for research usually under strict conditions of use in a contract or Research Agreement or Material Transfer Agreement. Banana varieties can also be imported by private individuals. Regardless of source of banana we make sure they go through quarantine to protect industry.

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12 Quarantine process takes months Time Entry & release Screening Screening months Quarantine tissue culture lab Quar. Disease diagnostics lab. Quar. Glasshouse 2-4 mths Import application, receive, inspect & move plants 2-3 mths Select single starter plant for each accession, send leaves Test leaves. If no virus continue 3-5 mths Multiply up to 10 plants Send 5 to glasshouse eval. 2 mths Commence multiplication of remaining 5 plants 6+ mths Continue multiplication Test sampled leaves Test sucker internally Receive & harden off plants Observe fortnightly & index 1 mth DAFF issue notice to release or destroy 1 + mth Release into QBAN lab. 1 for distribution Send report to DAFF Send report to Daff

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14 Where do the varieties go after quarantine - After quarantine release varieties move into the High Health QBAN research tissue culture laboratory No. 1 - The high health QBAN research laboratory only hold plants that have been virus indexed for all viruses in Australia and are indexed for bacteria, commercial QBAN have less testing. - The Australian banana tissue culture collection is maintained under slow growth conditions in one of the culture rooms within QBAN lab. No.1 - The banana collection consists of between accessions of varieties needed for Australian research, industry development & biosecurity strategies. Content changes each year to target current & emerging issues.

15 3 HEPA filtered, controlled temperature culture rooms Emergency back up generators Secure access 2 other culture room for plant research & production Banana collection Culture room

16 How long does it take to get new banana cultivars to market

17 Estimated new variety introduction timeline?? Tissue culture - New variety introduction Germplasm block - multiplication Research trial site research evaluation Semi-commercial evaluation Commercialisation process Yr1 Yr2 Yr3 Yr4 Yr5 Yr6 Yr7 Yr8 Yr9

18 Estimated new variety introduction timeline Plant Protection Program Tissue culture - New variety introduction Germplasm block - multiplication Research trial site research evaluation Semi-commercial evaluation Market evaluation & Com. Yr1 Yr2 Yr3 Yr4 Yr5 Yr6 Yr7 Yr8 Yr9

19 Estimated new variety introduction timeline Tissue culture - New variety introduction Germplasm block - multiplication Research trial site research evaluation Commercialisation process new area for industry Semi-commercial evaluation Commercialisation process Yr1 Yr2 Yr3 Yr4 Yr5 Yr6 Yr7 Yr8 Yr9

20 Challenges with new banana varieties When faced with disease like Panama resistant varieties are the only economically viable way to maintain sustained and profitable production. BUT For industry to make profits they must not only grow bananas but have a good market for their bananas. New varieties have to be market ready so that there are consumers ready to buy. The challenge is two-fold to find suitable banana cultivars to introduce and sell the new cultivars in the retail market for profit

21 Food for thought - Commercialisation Suggestions & considerations The banana industry is responsible for commercialisation. It is an industry decision and process. DAFF will help. Need an industry variety steering committee comprising a wide range of skill sets. Need to decide what varieties warrant further investigation & investment. Expanding the range of varieties has been done now in many other crops but not banana- why It is a complex issue Industry needs to develop a plan & project for commercialisation of the target banana cultivar/s

22 Many steps in commercialisation banana industry need to develop the market & process Research & marketing is needed to sell new varieties Decide on best commercial candidates Evaluate under commercial farming systems Identify & solve production problems /issues Post harvest research- ripening handling, consumer research Work with retail groups to market new varieties Work with ripeners and wholesalers for product requirements Test market- target release date, determine volumes needed Select growers for production, QBAN facilities needed to supply large quantities of planting material Marketing campaign & Industry release

23 How to access banana varieties generally Plants from the Banana collection are provided for research but also available for grower evaluation in small quantities (not in commercial quantities). Access depends on any contracts in place. Only Public domain varieties that have no restrictions to access can be widely released & distributed with no conditions. There are commercial QBAN laboratories and Nurseries who produce the large numbers of plants needed for growers. Nurseries can not be located in areas that have pathogens like Banana Bunchy Top Virus, so that makes access harder in disease areas.

24 How do we get varieties that are near to release Information regarding progress and access to varieties is delivered via Australia bananas publication. DPM25, a Subtropical and Tropical Race 4 Fusarium tolerant cultivar was developed and is owned by DAFF It has similar attributes to Williams & is market ready. Early grower access was under Material Transfer Agreement contract. Because it can be sold directly into the market steps are underway for commercial release.? It is a new variety, what about post harvest?

25 Ways that newly introduced varieties are used First to establish research trials & support banana research. QBAN research laboratory No. 1, that maintains the Australian banana collection, provides the plants needed within limits of any contract conditions. After trial evaluation (step one), growers may be able to access cultivars via Material transfer agreement (MTA) with restricted use conditions Case by case basis depending on conditions required by owner. Business manager manages this activity for DAFF and as requested by other equity partners.

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27 Banana varieties are sourced for industry to address disease and market issues Safe access to new varieties protects industry- why we use quarantine & QBAN The banana variety collection is to assist industry remain viable and improve Access to varieties from the banana collection is for research, biosecurity & for grower evaluation The long term aim is to improve production & profits Contact me to discuss!

28 Consumers get ready! A wider choice of Australian banana varieties is coming soon.

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