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UK scientists come together to help feed the 7 billion
Date:10/27/2011

welfare, climate change science, soil and nutrients science, and the full breadth of economic, social science and humanities."

Professor Maurice Moloney, Director of Rothamsted Research, commented on the partnership, saying: "Collaborations of this nature are essential as we look to meet the challenges of global food and energy security." He also highlighted Rothamsted's exciting new research facility: "The new Farm Platform, at North Wyke in Devon, gives us the facilities and technology to conduct collaborative research and we are looking for researchers to work with us on this Platform to explore alternative land use scenarios and their impacts."

Case studies

Yes we (may) have no bananas: the impact of bacterial Xanthomonas wilt in Africa

University of Exeter scientists are working to tackle a major threat to banana and plantain farming.

Developing African nations are highly vulnerable to food security threats posed by new and re-emerging crop pathogens. Disease outbreaks can have devastating consequences. This is perhaps best exemplified by Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum (Xcm). Bananas and plantains are major food staples and cash crops in the East African Great Lakes zone. In the last decade the BXW disease has emerged in the Great Lake Region of East Africa, devastating the livelihoods of millions of people. BXW was first identified on enset, a plant related to the banana, in Ethiopia in the 1960s, and discovered on Ugandan bananas in 2001. It has since spread into neighbouring Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi and Tanzania (2007). BXW can become epidemic within weeks, leading to complete crop loss. Many families have abandoned banana cultivation, which has caused unsustainable increases in food price.

The long-term objective is to develop resistance to BXW. Banana is propagated vegetatively so traditional breeding methods are ext
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Contact: Sarah Hoyle
s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
44-013-927-22062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

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