Comparative study of shoot and root development in micropropagated and sucker-derived banana and plantain (Musa spp.) plants uri icon


  • Objective: To compare performance of in vitro plants and sucker-derived banana seedlings in the field. Methodology and results: Eight Musa genotypes were assessed during the first production cycle. Shoot and root traits were measured during the vegetative and the early reproductive phase. During the mid-vegetative phase, sucker-derived plants produced a larger root system, but leaf area and pseudostem size were similar for both types of propagules. No significant differences were observed at flower emergence between the propagule types for leaf area, corm fresh weight, root traits, height of the tallest sucker and days to flower emergence. Few significant correlations between the same plant growth traits of in vitro and sucker-derived plants were observed during the vegetative phase. However, significant correlations between both types of propagule were observed at flower emergence for leaf area, plant height, pseudostem circumference, corm weight and corm size, and root dry weight. Conclusion and application of findings: Although in vitro plants are of higher phytosanitary status, they did not have superior growth than sucker-derived plants. However, the results demonstrate that one major advantage of in vitro-derived plants would be their more homogenous growth, which has implications for research and timing of field practices. The larger amount of roots at planting of in vitro-derived plants seems not to have a particular advantage during the first cycle and clearly propagules originating from different sources tend to behave similarly at flower emergence

publication date

  • 2008