Science Seminar: Panama disease pathogen, a global threat to banana
Presented by Yong Zhang, Ph.D.
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
"Combating a Global Threat to Bananas, OMICS in Panama disease pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense"
Diseases are major problems wherever banana is produced. They indirectly reduce yields by debilitating plants and directly reduce the yield and quality of fruit before and after harvest. The current global banana production is seriously threatened by the emergence of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race4 (Foc TR4), the causal agent of the Fusarium Wilt disease of banana (also referred to as Panama disease). As the fungus not only causes wilting and rapid death of the banana but also remains in the soil for decades, TR4 was determined to be the most dangerous banana pathogen.
I will talk about the research applying OMICS to understand the evolution of Foc host-specific pathogenicity and develop potential strategies to control the disease through identifying informative candidates associated with pathogenicity.