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Focus on research

International Transit Centre, KU Leuven - University of Leuven i.c.w. Bioversity International

The Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement focuses its research on breeding tropical crops by integrating conventional breeding with molecular breeding, functional genomics and phenotyping. The Laboratory also actively contributes to safeguarding biodiversity. Therefore it hosts the Bioversity International office in Belgium. Its 3 academic staff  Prof. R.L. Swennen, Prof. D. De Waele and Prof. S. Carpentier teach at the  undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level.

The aim is to improve the livelihood of subsistence farmers in the tropics through sustainable agriculture by acting as a bridge between fundamental research on model plants and applied research in support of the improvement of tropical crops, with special emphasis on banana and plantain.

The International Transit Centre hosts the world banana collection consisting of nearly 1455 accessions. This is conserved under in vitro conditions (medium term), as a cryopreserved collection and lyophilized leaf collection. Therefore a MOU was signed between Bioversity International and KU Leuven and international agreement made between Bioversity and the Kingdom of Belgium. Germplasm can be ordered online.

Laboratory of tropical crop improvement



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