April 2016
Quarterly update from the Global Musa Genetic Resources Network   www.musanet.org

Updated Technical Guidelines for the Safe Movement of Musa Germplasm
MusaNet recently announced the publication of the 3rd edition of the Technical Guidelines for the Safe Movement of Musa Germplasm, edited by John Thomas (University of Queensland), Chair of the Conservation Thematic Group, with contributions from several institutes, including CIRAD, Bioversity International, University of Liege and IITA.

The guidelines, which supersede those published in 1989 (Frison and Putter 1989) and 1996 (Diekmann and Putter 1996), describe technical procedures that minimize the risk of pest (virus) introductions due to the movement of Musa germplasm for research, crop improvement, plant breeding, exploration or conservation.

A pdf of the guidelines can be downloaded here.

Minimum Lists of Descriptors for Musa and for Plantain
Two new guidelines were completed earlier this year by members of MusaNet DTG and CTG.

The revised Minimum List of Descriptors for Musa is an update of the Illustrated List of Minimum Descriptors for Banana that was developed by the Taxonomic Advisory Group (TAG) in 2010. Improvements were made based on feedback from Musa curators participating in the MusaNet characterization workshops held in Guadeloupe (2013), India (2014) and Cameroon (2015).

The Minimum List of Descriptors for Plantains is new list of 33 descriptors to guide field characterization of the Plantain sub-group. It was developed by TAG with expertise from CARBAP and the University of Kisangani. The descriptors were tested and refined during the MusaNet West and Central African regional characterization and documentation workshop held in Cameroon in 2015. This is the first specific minimum list dedicated to the major Musa subgroups.
The minimum lists can be downloaded here.

Plant Animal Genome (PAG) Banana Genomics workshop 
Several MusaNet members recently participated in the Banana Genomics workshop at the 15th annual Plant and Animal Genome conference in San Diego, California. The speakers included Julie Sardos (co-Chair DTG), Gert Kema (ETG and GTG), Brad Till (GTG) and Valentin Guignon (ITG). The workshop was orgnaized by Angelique D'Hont (Chair GTG) and Mathieu Rouard (Chair ITG).

About 60 people attended the workshop followed by the banana community evening meeting to discuss relevant topics for the GTG work plan.

Read more about it here

New Features on MGIS 
Two updates to MGIS have been implemented this year. The January 2016 update included the new comparator tool for comparing Passport and Characterization Data, the taxonomy browser and a flat version of the taxonomy wheel. The April 2016 update allows the comparison of taxonomic trees (see below) including those from published studies. 
In 2016 so far six additional collections have signed the DSA and sent data (CARBAPCNRACRB,  NARINARO and INERA) for a total of 1,345 new accessions.

Read more about the new MGIS features here

New Chairs and Co-chairs of MusaNet Evaluation and Diversity Thematic Groups 
After five years of dedicated service on the MusaNet Expert Committee, Jean-Pierre Horry (co-Chair DTG), Robert Domaigne (Chair ETG) and Inge van den Bergh (co-Chair ETG) are stepping down from their roles, although they will still be involved in MusaNet activities.
The newly elected members are Jeff Daniells (Chair DTG), Julie Sardos (co-Chair DTG), Miguel Dita (Chair ETG) and Kodjo Tomekpe (co-Chair ETG). MusaNet extends a warm welcome to our new EC members as we look forward to many productive years ahead.

The Expert Committee webpage with photos and contact information can be found here


Upcoming Events
The revised Global Strategy on the Conservation and Use of Musa Genetic Resources will be published by MusaNet in June 2016.
Copyright © 2016 MusaNet 
Contact us at: musanet.secretariat@gmail.com

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