Monday, November 2, 2009

Botanical aspect of Banana

Botanical aspect of Banana
Bananas belong to the genus Musa, of the family Musaceae and the order Scitamineae, but the botany of the cultivated forms has only relatively recently been clearly defined.

The family Musaceae includes many subfamilies or genera, covering a wide range of plants such as arrowroot, canes, ginger, grasses, lilies and palms.

The genus Musa comprises over 20 distinct species with over 300 varieties.

Amongst these are Musa and from sub-division Eumusa, from which comes the edible banana, which probably had its origins in wild species, inter alia, Musa acuminate and Musa balbisiana.

The edible bananas in Eumusa have 22, 33 or 44 chromosomes.

The basic number of chromosomes in this section is n = 11, so these cultivars are respectively diploid and tetraploid, with triploid being generally the most numerous.

The leaves and bracts are spirally arranged.

Male and female (or hermaphrodite) flowers are separated within one inflorescence; the fruit is a many seeded berry.

The Australimusa series of edible bananas is easily distinguished from Eumusa by having an erect bunch and pink juice.

Within the AA subdivision, Sucrier is the only important edible diploid acuminate type, widely cultivated and highly favored for its sweet, thin skinned fruits.

It is resistant to Panama disease but highly susceptible to leaf spot – two of the significant disease to affect bananas.

Within Eumusa, it is possible, with experience to assign a cultivar to its correct group almost at a glance, and at the turn of the millennium about 80% of the world’s cultivars are well known.

The agricultural significance of physical mutations in bananas is very great, and the ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ bananas, which is so significant in world trade is in fact a mutant of an important clone.
Botanical aspect of Banana

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