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Eighth Australian Banana Industry Congress

Rachel Meldrum represented the CRC at the Eighth Australian Banana Industry Congress, where she presented her PhD research project on Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4). Rachel’s presentation highlighted that Fusarium wilt of banana caused by Foc TR4 is considered to be one of the most devastating plant pathogens while bananas are the most important tropical crop in Australia. Rachel also discussed how her research on Foc TR4 will help develop knowledge which is currently unavailable. The presentation created awareness and interest amongst industry and researches of the potential impacts of Foc TR4.


After the Congress Rachel participated in a meeting at Queensland Primary Industry and Fisheries (QPI&F) in Toowoomba, where another Fusarium oxysporum (Fov) was discussed, throughout these discussions Rachel found the research done on Fov would be useful to her as Foc and Fov have many similarities. Rachel made valuable contacts at QPI&F who will be able to assist in her research.


The Congress and meeting with QPI&F enabled Rachel to establish national collaborative networks which will benefit both her current and future research. It also gave her a greater understanding of the industry as a whole and the many research and development activities being undertaken. Finally, it gave perspective on how her research fits into the future development of the industry.


The national collaboration of Foc TR4 research will improve the status of Australia’s plant biosecurity system. This communication created an extensive industry awareness regarding the seriousness of Foc TR4, which has the potential for future financial investment in Foc TR4 research.


The travel also provided the opportunity to communicate with the Australian banana industry, the potential end users of this PhD research project, CRC60097. Discussions with industry ensure the research project outcomes reach the identified target end users.



When: June 2009
Location: Queensland, Australia

Rachel Meldrum had the opportunity to present and discuss her PhD project to researchers and industry at the Eighth Australian Banana Industry Congress.