Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

Conservation and availability of banana

Musa acuminata ssp. microcarpa. Credit Bioversity International/R. Markham

Banana is one of the most important staple food crops throughout the developing countries of the tropics and subtropics, providing a source of income, food and nutrition for more than 400 million people.

Bioversity International has a standing commitment to the long-term conservation of the global banana collection held in trust at the Bioversity International Transit Centre (ITC) in Leuven, Belgium under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

Global banana networks

Bioversity International coordinates three global networks for banana research, ProMusa, MusaNet and the Global Musa Genomics Consortium.

ProMusa is a platform that facilitates the exchange of information, knowledge and know-how on bananas by organizing symposia and managing integrated knowledge-sharing and communication tools.

MusaNet, the Global Musa Genetic Resources Network, provides a global framework and partnership of all key stakeholders to ensure the long-term conservation and use of Musa genetic resources.

The Global Musa Genomics Consortium is an international network of scientists from various institutions who apply genomics tools in banana research to improve its breeding and management.

Regional banana networks

Bioversity International also provides coordination for banana research networks at the regional level.

MUSALAC - the Banana Research and Development Network for Latin America and the Caribbean

Innovate Plantain -  the innovation platform on plantain that replaced MUSACO, the regional network for West and Central Africa

BARNESA - the Banana Research Network for Eastern and Southern Africa

BAPNET - the Banana Asia-Pacific Network


CIALCA - the consortium for improving agriculture-based livelihoods in Central Africa

Crop Genebank Knowledge Base includes a section on the conservation, characterization and safety duplication of bananas

Banana genome hub centralizes genetic and genomic data on the Musa acuminata genome sequence as well as the sequences of closely related species

Greenphyl is a web platform for comparative and functional genomics of some 30 sequenced species, including Musa acuminata