Arne Mertens

PhD student at

  • Lab of Tropical Crop Improvement, Division of Crop Biotechnics KU Leuven
  • Meise Botanic Garden, Research Department

Speciality: Musaceae, population biology, conservation biology
Research themes: Diversity of crop wild relatives (CWRs)

Contact:

Phone: +32 498 79 02 07

Researchgate - ORCID  - Twitter

Summary

My research focuses mainly on wild species of banana, one of the most important fruit crops in the world. With global change and the continuously increasing world population, breeding and cultivation of bananas have been put under serious pressure. More research is needed to discover novel or superior alleles in wild species as they hold the key to resistance against various diseases and against abiotic stresses such as water deficit.

In this project, we look at the native distribution area of wild banana species and evaluate the wild banana genetic resources (Musa sp.) already available in ex-situ conservation programs. Additionally, we investigate the species rich forests of Vietnam, which is a big part of the evolutionary hotspot of the genus. It is also here where Musa balbisiana found its origin, a wild species of banana that contributed its so-called B genome to many edible banana cultivars. By investigating the genetic resources of Vietnamese populations of Musa balbisiana, we want to provide a link between genetic diversity and the occurrence of these useful alleles on the one hand and resistance to abiotic stress (drought) and biotic stress (Fusarium wilt) on the other hand.

Qualifications

Degrees

MSc, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 2016   

Employment history

PhD student, Meise Botanic Garden, 2018 - ongoing

Research scientist, Plant Conservation and Population Biology, KU Leuven, 2017

Projects

Next to the PhD project on Musa balbisiana, I also collaborate with a project on population genetics and phylogeography of other wild banana species, research that is also conducted in Meise Botanic Garden. I am also greatly interested and involved in projects that assess the impact of mating system, floral morphology, and pollinators on species diversification.

Cookies

We maken gebruik van cookies en vergelijkbare technieken om het gebruik van de website te analyseren, om het mogelijk te maken content van derden af te beelden, zoals ook video’s, en voor verschillende andere toepassingen. Deze cookies worden ook geplaatst door derden. Door ‘akkoord’ te klikken, stemt u hiermee in. Als u niet akkoord bent, kunt u via de knop ‘Instellingen aanpassen’ uw voorkeuren opgeven. Meer informatie…

Cookies zijn nodig om de website goed te laten functioneren. Zo wordt uw winkelmandje onthouden tijdens de bestelling en kunt u inloggen op de website.

Maar cookies zijn ook nodig om de ervaring op de website te verrijken. Bijvoorbeeld media van derde partijen, zoals video's, gaan vaak gepaard met cookies. Ook houden we statistieken bij om de site doorlopend te verbeteren.

Als laatste worden cookies ook gebruikt om informatie rond onze marketing-activiteiten, zoals nieuwsbrieven en advertenties, zo efficiënt en persoonlijk mogelijk uit te kunnen uitvoeren.

Cookie instellingen