Tropical/Translational research

In tropical phytopathology we focus on perennial crops, particularly bananas.

The Translational approach is typically multidisciplinary with a focus on perennial crops and always has an application horizon. Therefore, we disentangle for instance the banana – Fusarium interaction by comparing fungal genomes and identifying key effectors and constructing their global diversity to rationalize breeding strategies. Another example is the quest for the cause of “avariato” in hazel, a disease that affects the quality of the nuts. Here, we survey the occurrence of biotic agents, such as fungi and bacteria, in the light of abiotic factors and aerial mapping to eventually guarantee a healthy crop.

Cross section of a Cavendish banana stem infected by Fusarium odoratissimum (Tropical Race 4) that disseminates globally.
Cross section of a Cavendish banana stem infected by Fusarium odoratissimum (Tropical Race 4) that disseminates globally.
Banana plants in the Phyto greenhouse
Banana plants in the Phyto greenhouse
Healthy corm (control plant)
Healthy corm (control plant)
Infected plant
Infected plant