Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Vol. 9(3), pp. 278-287, 2019

ISSN: 2276-7770

Copyright ©2019, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)

DOI Link:


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Effect of the position of hand from bunch of Musa spp. on the expression of number of intraclonally cross-pollinated seeds



Ongagna A.1*, Issali A.E.2, Mpika J.3 and Youmbi E.4



1- General Direction of Technological Innovation, Ministry of Scientific Research, Congo-Brazzaville, phone: 00242 06 456 52 87, email:

2- National Higher School of Agronomy and Forestry, Marien NGOUABI University, Congo-Brazzaville, Phone: 00 242 06 575 99 06, Email:

3- Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, Marien NGOUABI University, Congo-Brazzaville, phone: 00 242 06 527 42 46, Email:

4- Biotechnology and Environment Laboratory, University of Yaounde-Cameroon, Phone; 00237 677 54 73 11, E.mail:







Article No.: 061019107

Type: Research

DOI: 10.15580/GJAS.2019.3.061019107


This study assessed the ability to yield the intraclonally cross-pollinated seeds of clones Honduras (HON) and Cameroon (CAM) from Musa balbisiana (M. balbisiana) and THA018-THA, Calcutta4 (CAL), Microcarpa (MIC), Zebrina (ZEB) and Truncata (TRU) from Musa acuminata (M. acuminata). Ten variables were measured. Anova and two-sample Student’s t and Z tests were applied. Results shown that M. acuminata differ in M. balbisiana. The latter is more vigourous and productive in seeds than the former. Clones HON and CAM expressed the highest values of vegetative and seeds yielding in fruit. They might be used, not only in the conservation of genetic resources of banana in the form of seeds in laboratory, but also in hybridisation programme. Nonetheless, in hybrids dedicated to trade, such ability to yield seeds must be eliminated by successives back crosses in the view to releasing edible fruit. In clone HON, the distal hand is more productive in seeds than the medium and proximal ones. In contrast, in clone THA, all the three positions yield the same number of seeds. Their uses must take into account such particularity.


Submitted: 10/06/2019

Accepted:  13/06/2019

Published: 28/07/2019


*Corresponding Author

Issali A.

E-mail: issaliemma@


Keywords: vegetative vigour; proximal hand; medium hand; distal hand; back cross; conservation of banana genetic resources.









Banana is monocotydone plant of the Musaceae (Guyot, 1992;, accessed on 15 May 2019). Banana is originated from Southeast Asia and the Pacific region and is thought to have been domesticated more than 7000 BP (Perrier et al., 2011). East and Central Africa then became secondary centers of diversity.

In the world; the number of cultivated and edible babanas and plantains is about four hundred. Most of the domesticated bananas are triploid and their fruits, parthenocarpic, contain no seed. With a few exceptions, triploid varieties are more vigorous and productive than the diploid ones. The latter are now rare.

In contrast, wild and diploid bananas produce inedible fruits, filled with seeds. More than 50 wild banana species exist, but two species, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, are known for their role in the domestication of most edible bananas (Perrier et al., 2009). The range of M. acuminata extends from west to east, from eastern India to New Guinea, covering the Philippines and Indonesia. Upon such axis, M. acuminata expresses strong morphological variability, structured in clones (Cheesman, 1947b). The wild forms, of variable height, are often slender but present large variations of shapes and length of the bunches and fruits. About 9 clones have been defined according to the authors such as De Langhe and Devreux (1960) as well as Simmonds (1966).

M. balbisiana is also a wild, uncultivated species, although originally from Southeast Asia, is substantially farther north than M. acuminata clones and is now present in all tropical areas of the planet. It is probably the most common and widespread species of all Musa species (Cheesman, 1947a). They are very vigorous, very tall plants. They have a strong vegetative vigour, a strong budding and a very good anchorage in the soil. The species M. balbisiana express lower variability than the previous one.

Edible varieties are generally sterile and long-term conservation options are therefore limited by the vegetative nature of their propagation system. These clones must be conserved ex situ in the field or in vitro or cryopreserved in laboratory.

The wild banana trees conserved the two propagation systems, namely by seed and by sucker. The two means are important, namely the use of seed to conserve genetic diversity.

Little is known about the yielding of seeds according to hand position on the bunch and that of fruit on the hand. From this, three hand positions on the bunch and two positions of fruit on the hand can be defined.   Nonetheless, Burgos-Hernández et al., (2014) achieved controlled self and cross pollinations in bananas.    

Thus, effect of the position of hand on the bunch as well as that of the fruit on the hand of banana on the expression of intraclonally cross-pollinated seeds yielding is poorly known. Indeed, the existence of a gradient as a function of the appearance of hands was never assessed as to determine the quantity of seeds in each hand position. Likewise, the influence of the internal and external positions of fruits from the hand on the yielding of pollinations has never been performed.  Thus, we postulate that the variation in the yielding of intraclonally cross-pollinated seeds, in banana clones, is due to the hand position from bunch as well as that of fruit on the hand.

This work aimed to know the effect of the hand position from bunch as well as that of fruit on the hand of banana on the expression of the number of intraclonally cross-pollinated seeds.




2.1. Site of study, plant materials and experimental designs


Research works were conducted from January to September 2016 at the CARBAP research station based on Njombé, Cameroon. This Station is located at 7° 22' 10.74" North latitude, 12° 20' 40.51" west longitude and 80 meters above sea.   

The plant materials were constituted of 2 species, namely Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Five representatives accounted for M. acuminata as against 3 for M. balbisiana. Musa acuminata differ in Musa balbisiana by some morphological and genetic characteristics (Table 1).



Table 1: Country of origin, species, sub-species, clones and some of their characteristics.





Some characteristics

Country of origin*

Musa acuminata



Zebrina - ZEB

Fruit length ≤ 15cm

Java Island, Indonesia




Close to some clones from ssp malaccensis. It prefers altitude above 1000 m

High Kelantan, Malaysia



Microcarpa - MIC

It is characterised, as its  name suggests it, by several tiny fruits

Borneo Island, Indonesia



Tha 018 -THA

They differ in previous by emitting the hermaphrodite flowers while the previous ones emit female flowers.






Calcutta 4-CAL

Fruit position: curved obliquely at an angle of 45°

Burma, Myanmar

Musa balbisiana


pisang klutuk wulung

Pisang klutuk kulung-PKW

Seeds aborted after selfing

Indonesia, Purwodadi





As other clones M. acuminata, seeds don’t abort after selfing





Seeds abort after selfing

South East Asia

Country of origin* : Informations, namely "country of origin" have been took in book of De Langhe et al., 1961.





Pollination system and conditions of the achieving of intraclonally cross-pollinations


Five banana plants per clone were used for pollinations. Clone, bunch, hand and fruit, taken as factors, combined or not, were used to test their individual or combined effects. Consequently, treatment was defined here as variants of a factor or variants combination of 2 factors tested, namely clone and hand position as well as clone and fruit position. Four replications of these previously cited treatments were used.

In the morning, genebank is visited to search for the female inflorescences about to open. It is bagged. This requires the bagging of male inflorescence. One or two days after, first, in the morning, pollen is withdrawn thus placed on fruit stigma of each hand open. After each pollination, the bag is placed again on the inflorescence to prevent unwanted pollen. Such operation repeated until the appearance of all female hands. Bag is withdrawn two days after the last pollination which corresponds to the last female hand (figure 1). Hands were cleaned with alcohol at 90° to deactivate pollen.

Four and a half months later, bunch starts to become mature. It is conserved in shed to standardise the maturation. First, hands from bunch are withdrawn then ranked in three lots as a function of their position from the bunch: (i) proximal, (ii) medium and (iii) distal. Likewise, their position related to inflorescence axis is also qualified: (i) internal and (ii) external. First, fruits of each bunch are placed in container, have open then watered. Seeds are handly counted in quadruplicate (Figure 1).


Variables measurement


Regarding the measured variables, four types of variables were measured. It is about vegetative system, bunch, fruit and seed variables. Concerning vegetative system variable, there are (i) the circumference (C), (ii) height of plant (H). Regarding bunch variable : (i) weight of bunch (PR), (ii) number of hand per bunch (NMR), (iii) number of fruits yielded per bunch (NFR), (iv) number of fruit per hand (NFM). As for fruit variable: (i) length of fruit in centimetre (LF) and (ii) circumference of fruit in centimetre (CF). As far as the seed variable is concerned: (i) number of seeds per fruit (NGF).