IMPROVEMENT OF MUSA AA 'MAS' THROUGH SOMACLONAL VARIATION
The Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) has started a step-wise approach in the improvement of Musa AA 'Mas' (Pisang Mas) through somaclonal variation since November 2000. This approach is employed to improve Pisang Mas which has excellent taste with export potential but the fruits are small with thin skin and have low bunch weight. To date, a population of over 500 tissue-cultured somaclones was field-evaluated for important agronomic characters with emphasis on bunch yield. Plant height, stem girth, time to shooting or flowering, and fruit quality were also recorded. This is because traits like short plant stature and earliness to flowering are also very much desired by growers. A total of eleven somaclones were selected from the preliminary field evaluation. Of these, eight somaclones recorded high yield (18.0–20.6 kg) in the second harvest. Of the eight somaclones, P24 (56) Soma 8B was particularly outstanding in bunch weight (20.6 kg) and earliness to flower (170 d). For Pisang Mas to be commercially viable, it must attain a yield of at least 20 kg per bunch comparable to the local commercial variety, Pisang Berangan or Lakatan (1824 kg). The globally known export variety, the Cavendish, however yields at more than 30.0 kg/bunch.
Siti Hawa, J., Lim, L.S. and Mooruthy, M. (2008). IMPROVEMENT OF MUSA AA 'MAS' THROUGH SOMACLONAL VARIATION. Acta Hortic. 787, 151-154
Pisang Mas, bunch yield, plant stature, earliness to flowering, fruit quality