Panama Disease

Research Projects & Results

The main research programs: INREF, SPIN & PROMOBANANA


Interdisciplinary Research and Education Fund (INREF)

Quote-open This research project addresses the management and containment of Panama disease in global banana production under different production settings in a range of agro-ecological environments and various governance structures. It aims at the development and implementation of innovative tools and methods to manage Panama disease and to contain the vicious Tropical Race 4. Partners comprising all relevant stakeholders throughout the banana chain for domestic and export markets are financing and supporting the research that is carried out by a multi disciplinary team of researchers and students. Quote-close
More information about the Interdisciplinary Research and Education Fund (INREF)

Genetic and pathogenic diversity

Study and map the genetic diversity of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense genotypes in different banana growing regions. Determine their pathological profile in relation to established race nomenclature and genetic characterization methods, including Vegetative Compatibility Group analyses.
Contact: Nadia Ordonez R.
Institution: Wageningen UR
Graduate school: Experimental Plant Sciences Wageningen UR

Genetic basis of resistance to Panama disease

Study the genetic diversity in banana for resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense particularly to Tropical Race 4 and determine the genetics and mechanisms of resistance in order to support breeding and genetic engineering.
Contact: Fernando Garcia B.
Institution: Universidad Nacional sede Medellin, Colombia
Graduate school: Experimental Plant Sciences Wageningen UR

Epidemiology and agro-ecology of Fusarium

Develop and optimize Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense molecular diagnostics and utilize it to study the epidemiology of Fusarium and quantify the effect of disease management strategies on Tropical Race 4 in the Philippines.
Contact: Maricar Salacinas
Institution: UP – Mindanao, Philippines
Graduate school: Experimental Plant Sciences Wageningen UR

Relation between disease pressure and diversity

Determine the effect of diverse agro-ecological conditions and mixed cropping on the severity of Panama disease in various local banana and plantain crops related to the diversity of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense and soil life in East Africa.
Contact: Erima Rockefeller
Institution: NARO, Uganda
Graduate school: Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC), Wageningen UR

Interactions between abiotic stress and crop vulnerability

Study the effect of abiotic stress or specific farm management strategies on the alleviation of disease pressure in susceptible banana germplasm in areas infested with Race 1 of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense.
Contact: Rafael Segura
Institution: Corbana, Costa Rica
Graduate school: Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC), Wageningen UR

Coordination in disease management in the Philippines

Study the enabling and constraining mechanisms for coordination and joint action in managing Panama disease in the banana industry in southern Mindanao, Philippines.
Contact: Marilou O. Montiflor
Institution: UP – Mindanao, Philippines
Graduate school: Wageningen School of Social Sciences

Multi-level governance

Determine the conditions for effective forms of governance that help to control Panama Disease at different levels, including (1.) Identification of actors and review of current governance options; (2.) Interaction between different levels of governance and impact; (3.) Effect of the diversity of regulatory frameworks on trans boundary disease control and (4.) Governance options for the management of Panama disease.
Contact: Rosselynn Jaye de la Cruz
Institution: National Anti-Poverty Commission, Philippines
Graduate school: Wageningen School of Social Sciences

Scientific Program Indonesia Netherlands (SPIN)

Quote-open The overall objective of this program of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences is to deliver fundamental knowledge on banana, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense and their mutual interaction with or without a soil component. The program is connected with a social science framework recognizing the relevance of human behavior and collective responses for sustaining local banana production in Indonesia. Quote-close

Genome wide diversity analyses

Determine the genetic diversity of banana in its center of origin along with the incumbent Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense strains. Along with careful phenotypical data and expert knowledge about the taxonomy of wild banana accessions and the pathogenicity of Fusarium on this wide arrays of accessions, new associations will unveil candidate resistance genes in this banana germplasm and Fusarium haplotypes will be identified that are
Contact: Nani Maryani
Institution: Department of Biology education, UNTIRTA (university of Sultan AgengTirtayasa) Banten, Indonesia
Graduate school: Experimental Plant Sciences Wageningen UR

Cytogenetics of banana and its relation with breeding for resistance

In this project the foundation for a fundamental understanding of the genetics and transmission of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense resistance in banana will be laid by classical genetics and state-of-art cytological techniques to pave the way to transmission of the desired resistance gene(s) by classical breeding or cisgenic engineering.
Contact: Fajarudin Ahmad
Institution: Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jl. Raya Cibinong, Bogor 19611, Indonesia
Graduate school: Experimental Plant Sciences Wageningen UR

Tripartite relationship between germplasm, soils and Fusarium

In this study we aim to identify through a large inventory the occurrence of Panama disease suppressiveness in Indonesian soils and experimentally evaluate the microbiome enabling the analysis of the tripartite interaction between Fusarium-banana-soil to identify beneficial microorganisms involved in natural disease suppressiveness.
Contact: VACANCY
Graduate school:

Molecular deciphering of the banana-Fusarium interaction

In this project, we will capitalize on the latest genomics results on the host and pathogen side and use RNA sequencing and comparative genomics approaches to unveil genes and their expression during pathogenesis in compatible and incompatible interactions. This will reveal suites of candidate fungal effector genes and host resistance genes that are crucial to eventually understand the molecular control of incompatibility in the banana-Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense interaction.
Contact: Sri Widinugraheni
Institution: Kampus baru Faperta Undana, Jl. Adisucipto, Penfui, Kupang-NTT, Indonesia
Graduate school: Experimental Plant Sciences Wageningen UR

Hidden role of banana in mixed farming and rural livelihoods

This project inquires how farmers, either individually or collectively, respond to Panama disease that potentially undermines this stability in income generation, and how these responses are shaped by the dynamics within the social networks and institutional arrangements wherein farmers’ household strategies are embedded.
Contact: Iman Nawireja
Institution: Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
Graduate school: Wageningen School of Social Sciences

The systemic nature of Fusarium wilt

This integrative post-doc project takes the biology of banana growing as an entry point for developing a methodology that enables investigating the interaction between human capacity to manage diseases that easily spread across the boundaries of individual farms. It relates this problem-solving capacity to the mediating, feedback and selection mechanisms in rural communities, technological innovation systems and public regulation.
Contact: Dr. Rilus A. Kinseng (post-doc)
Institution: Bogor Agricultural University
Graduate school: Wageningen School of Social Sciences
Contact: Dr. Arif Wibowo (post-doc)
Institution Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
Graduate school: Wageningen School of Social Sciences

Protect and Modernize Philippine Banana Production (PromoBanana)

Quote-open PromoBanana is a public private partnership to build-up a professional laboratory service capacity for the Philippine banana sector. Quote-close

Project purpose

Establish a professional service laboratory for banana farmers to detect and contain fast spreading diseases and to optimize fertilizer management. Therefore, PromoBanana will introduce innovative disease diagnostic tools and soil analysis instruments and develop novel partnerships linking the different actors in the banana sector. As a result, PromoBanana strives for ensured food security, improved resource use and strengthened resilience of a volatile sector.

The problem

The overarching problems of banana production in the Philippines are caused by plant diseases. Panama disease is extremely virulent on the Cavendish and Lacatan crops that are destined for export and domestic fresh fruit markets. They make up over 60% of the national production. Every banana grower deals with them. PromoBanana provides diagnostic capacity and delivers service and training. This enables growers to respond appropriately to Panama disease and black Sigatoka.

Output and outcome

PromoBanana establishes a professional laboratory and services the entire banana sector for higher production, improved efficiency in land use and inputs, a better business climate and provides tailored information packages and access to better developed markets.


Quote-open The INREF, KNAW-SPIN and PromoBanana programs involve many collaborating scientists that aim for solving the Panama disease problem. The current threat of Tropical Race 4 (TR4) requires rapid disclosure of data. This page provides you with an updated overview of the TR4 screening results of a broad collection of banana germplasm, our publications and scientific posters. Quote-close


The threat of Panama disease to the role of banana and plantain in realising food security:

Linking local realities to a global problem. View poster here.

Is SIX1 an effector in the Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense‐banana interacAon? View poster here.

Diversity of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubence isolated from local banana cultivars in Indonesia. View poster here.


On-line results of banana germplasm TR4 screening

View the first results here and the last results here