DIVERSITY IN THE GENUS MUSA: ITS SIGNIFICANCE AND ITS POTENTIAL
This paper provides a broad picture of the current knowledge on Musa diversity as well as the collection and evaluation efforts that led to this knowledge. The secondary diversity centers (SDC) in Africa of the plantain and the AAA highland bananas, as well as of the “Maia maoli-Popoulu” group in the Pacific, are highlighted and a hypothesis is formulated on mode and timing of their generation. The potential of the SDC is closely visited in relation to the future of banana and plantain cultivation in Africa. Critical questions are raised on gaps in the collection of the total Musa diversity; the amount of progress made since 1950s in the correct evaluation of the taxa; the time depth of existence of taxa; the significance of the wild diploids for genetic improvement in and for Africa; the accessibility of the collected germplasm; and the use of standard formulas in description of the diversity. The answers to these questions are not always satisfactory and research targets are suggested, particularly with respect to the situation in Africa. The subject of amplification of the collected diversity by modern techniques is briefly visited.
De Langhe, E. (2000). DIVERSITY IN THE GENUS MUSA: ITS SIGNIFICANCE AND ITS POTENTIAL. Acta Hortic. 540, 81-88