Understanding the diversity and reproductive biology of banana - for improvement through basic research
Success in banana breeding and hybrid development has remained elusive in spite of broad diversity for fertility status. Although key factors, including ploidy, diverse genomic constitution, and male and/or female sterility, have been studied, the basic research to understand their reproductive ecology is limited. Studies on adaptive significance of traits involved in ontogeny in flowering, as well as of factors involved in pollination, fertilization, compatibility, seed production; regeneration, dormancy and so forth need emphasis. Two years' data from NRCB provided a baseline on cross compatibility and improved seed set even under high temperature (by 1-3°C). Two different cultivars were used as female parents ['Kothia' (ABB genome, Bluggoe subgroup) and 'Udhayam' (ABB genome, Pisang Awak subgroup)] and 'Calcutta-4' (Musa acuminata) as the male parent. Studies have been conducted to understand the basis of sterility through physical, physiological and biochemical factors affecting stigma compatibility. Time course germination of pollen grains was studied to understand the structural incompatibility regulating seed set. Such basic ecological and morpho-molecular studies, and those on biomolecules involved in reproduction can lead to understanding of mechanisms involved in seed set and could help diversify strategies for banana improvement.
Uma, S. and Arun, K. (2016). Understanding the diversity and reproductive biology of banana - for improvement through basic research. Acta Hortic. 1114, 1-12
compatibility, enzymes, fertilization, pollination, seasonal variations and seed set