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Identification of disease suppressive banana plant and soil microbiomes

Paul Dennis: The University of Queensland

<div>Plant-associated microorganisms are known to strongly influence host fitness but are poorly characterised for bananas and the soils used for their production. We have characterised the microbiomes of: 1) 17 soil types representing c. 70% of the main banana production area of Australia; 2) 55 banana genotypes; and 3) multiple plant compartments using high throughput phylogenetic marker gene sequencing. In addition, we have ranked the suppressiveness of multiple soil types to Fusarium wilt (<em>Fusarium oxysporum</em> f. sp. <em>cubense</em>) and used a novel bait trapping technique to identify microorganisms that are attracted to compounds released by the pathogen. Consequently, we have identified a range of microorganisms that are associated with susceptibility and resistance to the disease. These findings will assist other projects that aim to identify on-farm management practices that encourage the establishment of Fusarium wilt suppressive banana plant and soil microbiomes under field conditions.</div>