Plantain diversity in the Democratic Republic of Congo and future prospects

J.G. Adheka, D.B. Dhed'a, G. Blomme, D. Karamura, R. Swennen, E. De Langhe
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) is the largest centre of diversity for plantain (Musa AAB subgroup). In the the 1940s and 1950s descriptions of a collection of 56 accessions at Yangambi (INERA ex INEAC) were published. Between 2005 and 2015, new collection missions covering 306 villages of DR Congo gave morphological descriptors of 107 cultivars, which were established in two fields at the University of Kisangani (UNIKIS). Ninety-seven of these cultivars are completely characterized and grouped into French (64 accessions), False Horn (23 accessions) and Horn (10 accessions) types. Three plant size categories were distinct in the French plantain accessions (24 giant, 22 medium and 12 small) but less obvious within the False Horn and Horn accessions. A similar proportion between the three bunch types was found for dwarfism. The dominant bunch orientation was pendulous (71% of all accessions). Different colours of pseudostem (green, dark green, mottled red and black) and of immature fruit peel (brown, dark green, green, red and yellow) were recorded, green being predominant. The collected cultivars will be further characterized for their agronomic and postharvest performance, used in breeding and characterized at the molecular level.
Adheka, J.G., Dhed'a, D.B., Blomme, G., Karamura, D., Swennen, R. and De Langhe, E. (2018). Plantain diversity in the Democratic Republic of Congo and future prospects. Acta Hortic. 1225, 261-268
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1225.36
Musa AAB, diversity, DR Congo

Acta Horticulturae