Genetic Diversity in Banana

  • Sanjit DebnathEmail author
  • Arju Ali Khan
  • Anwesha Das
  • Indrajit Murmu
  • Abhisikta Khan
  • Kamal Kumar Mandal
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 22)


Banana and plantain are one of the globally important commercial crops supporting livelihood and food security of millions across the globe. In view of environmental degradation, climate change, loss of diversity of crop plants and thereafter the need for diversity-based farming for the sustainable food system, the importance of conservation and utilization of genetic diversity of Musa are globally signified. The edible banana fruit is available entirely from section Eumusa and rarely from section Australimusa of the genus Musa under family Musaceae and developed from two ancestor species M. acuminata and M. balbisiana in the South East Asian centre of origin. The diversity and distribution of species, subspecies and groups are important aspects in evolutionary and conservation studies. There are so far three major geographical regions of distributions of cultivated bananas, viz. Asia and the Pacific (29%), Africa (35%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (36%). A large proportion (70–85%) of the gene pool of the domesticated banana is available within Asia and the Pacific regions. The conservation of Musa germplasm is the priority objective of programmes and activities related to Musa (Banana and Plantain) diversity. The strategy for Musa conservation has been developed by the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP). The international banana germplasm collection is managed by the International Transit Centre (ITC) with INIBAP/Bioversity International, having the world’s largest Musa germplasm collection and conservation with around 1500 accessions. Morphological and molecular characterization is useful in the classification of cultivars and newly discovered wild Musa species. There are two major utilizations of the collected and evaluated Musa germplasm, viz. use of accession in breeding and crop improvement programmes and secondly, boosting production through direct distribution of better accession to the small-scale banana growers. The International Musa Testing Programme (IMTP), coordinated by INIBAP with the NARS and breeding programmes, resulted in several promising banana hybrids. Direct use of Musa accessions by the farmers from the ITC also showed encouraging impact on small banana growers in Cuba, Northern Tanzania and Nicaragua for their food security and better income. There is a need for more intensification of Musa germplasm collection, conservation and utilization, so as to achieve the call of the ‘Delhi Declaration on Agrobiodiversity Management 2016’.


Agrobiodiversity Genetic diversity Musa Germplasm Species Wild Banana Plantain Cultivar Variety Collection Characterization Utilization 



We sincerely acknowledge the support received from ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Fruits and Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, West Bengal. We are thankful to the distinguished authors for the permission to use information (materials) in this write up.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjit Debnath
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arju Ali Khan
    • 2
  • Anwesha Das
    • 2
  • Indrajit Murmu
    • 2
  • Abhisikta Khan
    • 2
  • Kamal Kumar Mandal
    • 3
  1. 1.ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Fruits (Mohanpur Centre)Bidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaMohanpur, NadiaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Fruit ScienceBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaMohanpur, NadiaIndia
  3. 3.Regional Research Sub-Station, Bidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaSekhampur, BirbhumIndia

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