Submitted to: Caribbean Food Crops Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2006
Publication Date: July 12, 2006
Citation: Irish, B.M., Goenaga, R.J. 2006. Phenotypic characterization of the USDA-ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station Banana Germplasm collection [abstract]. Caribbean Food Crops Society Proceedings. p. 388. Technical Abstract: Banana (Musa acuminata Colla. [AA, AAA]; Musa x paradisiaca Colla. [ABB, AAAB, AABB]), are large monocotyledonous plants in the Musaceae and is one of the world’s most important food crops. High genetic diversity can be found in centers of origin, but the lack of diversity in commercial production is evident. To prevent loss of genetic resources, a germplasm collection has been established for banana. The goal of the current research is to maintain clonally propagated germplasm collections of banana, to phenotypically and genotypically characterize accessions to assess genetic diversity, horticultural identity, and identify potentially superior genotypes. Characterization efforts focus on passport, management, site, phenotypic and genotypic descriptors, and evaluation data. First season phenotypic data (mother crop) has been collected and a second season (1st ratoon) is under way. Phenotypic traits of agronomic importance include, bunch weight, number or hands, as well as days to flower and days to maturity. Phenotypic data for plantain (Musa x paradisiaca Colla. [AAB]) was recently included in the USDA-ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database and can be accessed in the GRIN website (http://www.ars-grin.gov/). Accessions being characterized are available for distribution for research purposes.