Banana (Musa) diversity is conserved in more than 60 ex situ collections worldwide located mostly in banana producing countries. To ensure the long-term conservation on a cooperative basis, and facilitating the increased use of banana genetic resources, Bioversity International – through the Global Musa Genetic Resource Network, MusaNet – organizes a series of activities.
The most recent was a Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Regional Workshop on Musa characterization and documentation, held in Costa Rica from 12–17 November 2018. The workshop was hosted by our partner Corporación Bananera Nacional of Costa Rica (CORBANA) at their research station and field collection in Guápiles.
It was the fourth in a series of regional MusaNet workshops covering the four banana regional networks: Innovate Plantain, BARNESA, BAPNET and MusaLAC. These workshops have allowed national collection curators, many of whom had never met before, to share their knowledge and experiences in best practices for banana germplasm conservation and exchange, disease prevention and management and field management of their collections. The opportunity to share the top ten most popular banana varieties in each country was also very valuable, as this information could be important for future evaluation studies and trials in the region.