Wageningen UR will hold the first ever Wageningen Banana Day on 18 November. The event will be opened with a lecture by Professor Emeritus Ivan Buddenhagen, one of the world’s most renowned banana experts. In his lecture Professor Buddenhagen will address the impact of Panama disease, caused by a fungus that threatens the global banana production.
The lecture starts at 10.30 (CET) and can be seen live via this page. After the lecture there will be a debate until noon. Although there are no more tickets available for the event, it can be followed on Twitter via #wageningenbananaday and on Facebook. The lecture will also be available later via this page. The lecture and debate will be followed by a tour that includes various banana research locations and a mini symposium about the future of the banana.
Professor Ivan Buddenhagen
From 1981 until his retirement in 1994, Ivan Buddenhagen was professor at the Agronomy department of the University of California (Davis). During this period he worked on a biotechnology programme for the World Bank on how to approach important banana diseases. Recently he was involved in a five-year research programme of the Nunhems Foundation entitled ‘Fusarium Wilt Disease of Banana: breeding for better varieties; understanding biology of the disease, managing the disease’.
Wageningen UR and the banana
Various Wageningen UR scientists and students are involved in work on the banana. This includes research into the fungal Panama disease and Black Sigatoka which have a major impact on banana production. The scientists are also involved in optimising the cultivation, transport and ripening of bananas, and study the role of the banana in various cultures.
In addition, this year a group of twelve Wageningen University students won second prize in the IGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine) competition in Boston with their design for fungicidal soil bacteria to protect banana plants against the devastating Panama disease.