Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 393–404

Morphological variation in Musa germplasm

  • Rodomiro Ortiz

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008606411971

Cite this article as:
Ortiz, R. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (1997) 44: 393. doi:10.1023/A:1008606411971


Musa cultivars (bananas and plantains) are important crops in the humid tropics of Africa, America and Asia. This paper reports the extent of morphological variation of the Musa germplasm maintained in the gene-bank of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in southeastern Nigeria. Qualitative and quantitative descriptors were used to evaluate AA, BB, AB, AAA, AAB, AAAA, AAAB and AABB bananas, AAA and ABB cooking bananas, AAA beer bananas and AAB plantains and a few wild species. Univariate and principal component (PCA) analyses were performed to identify the most important descriptors to characterize and classify Musa germplasm collections. The most important qualitative morphological descriptors were persistence of male bud and hermaphrodite flowers, pigmentation in pseudostem, foliage, petiole and male flower, pseudostem blotching and waxiness, and leaf orientation. Furthermore, the most important quantitative morphological descriptors included pseudostem girth, height of tallest sucker, number of fruits and fruit sizes. These quantitative descriptors have a high heritability (>0.8), high repeatibility (>2.0) and low coefficient of variation (9–15%) with the exception of the height of the tallest sucker. The implications of the germplasm grouping revealed by PCA are briefly discussed in relation to the evolution of the triploid cultivars. This paper also proposes a new scientific nomenclature for the triploid Musa cultivars.

banana heritability Musa plantain principal component analysis repeatability 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodomiro Ortiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Plantain and Banana Improvement ProgramInternational Institute of Tropical AgricultureOnne, Rivers StateNigeria
  2. 2.The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural UniversityFrederiksberg C, CopenhagenDenmark

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