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Cold Hardy Bananas This forum is dedicated to the discussion of bananas that are able to grow and thrive in cold areas. You'll find lots of tips and discussions about keeping your bananas over the winter.


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Old 07-03-2019, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default some thoughts about hybridizing Musa basjoo

This thread is not going to be so much about bananas, specifically, but about other plant varieties that might be applicable to trying to hybridize bananas.

There has been much speculation about whether it may be possible to hybridize Musa basjoo with other bananas.
I am not sure of the answer to that, but from much reading I've done into hybridization involving other plants, I am inclined to believe it very likely should be possible, though there may be certain difficulties.

Musa basjoo is not as closely related to edible bananas as certain other hardy bananas like Sikkimensis are, though Basjoo might be thought a more desirable candidate for hybridization since it is the hardiest banana species.

The existence of reproductive barriers does not necessarily mean hybridization is impossible.


English Oak (Quercus robur) is in a different oak section from Cork Oak (Quercus suber), yet there is evidence hybridization may be possible.

Although Q. ilex is a Mediterranean evergreen oak, it is grouped together in the White Oaks section with Q. robur.
Q. suber is grouped under the section Cerris.

Q. ilex can hybridize with Q. robur, and Q. ilex can also hybridize with Q. suber, apparently, which carries the implication that Q. robur may be compatible with Q. suber.


Q. ilex x Q. robur hybrids do exist:

" Quercus × turneri ‘Pseudoturneri’ is a hybrid between Quercus ilex L. and Quercus robur L. originally produced in England at the end of the nineteenth century. Three individuals of this hybrid are growing in the Arboretum of the BFH, Institute for Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, Großhansdorf, Germany. "
" The present study clearly demonstrates that introgressive hybridization between a monoterpene- and isoprene-emitting oak species results in a mixed isoprenoid emission pattern combining the isoprenoid chemo-type of both parental species. "
Plant, Cell & Environment, Hybridization of European Oaks (Quercus ilex x Q. robur) results in a mixed isoprenoid emitter type, J.P. Schnitzler, R. Steinbrecher, I. Zimmer, D. Steigner, M. Fladung, Volume 27, issue 5, May 2004, pages 585-593,
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...3.01169.x/full


"It turned out that the Q. ilex x Q. suber mating resulted in a seed set of 25%, while the reciprocal cross did not result in any accorn production (Table 2.1). This was attributed to inability of pollen tubules of Q. ilex to penetrate the stigmatic surface after germination." (p22)
http://www.euforgen.org/fileadmin/te...urceCR_web.pdf
(they also reference Staudt 2004)

Hybridization between Q. ilex and Q. robur are possible, but apparently only if Q. suber is acting as the pollen parent.


"The presence of fertile oak hybrids resulting from interspecific crossing between more than 500 species recognized in the genus is well-known, and has been extensively documented (Govaerts and Frodin 1998 ). The inter-sectional hybrids in Quercus L., are frequently sterile, such as Q. robur (Sect. Robur) cross to Q. suber (Sect. Cerris) ... "
It goes on to say that, of the more than 300 oak hybrids that have been acknowledged, 70% of them are fertile, capable to generate viable offspring, and showing the ability to backcross.
Oaks Physiological Ecology. Exploring the Functional Diversity of Genus Quercus L. , edited by Eustaquio Gil-Pelegrín, José Javier Peguero-Pina, Domingo Sancho-Knapik, p241


Hybridization between pear and quince is possible, despite the fact they are in a different genus, Pyrus and Cydonia.

In 1855 the nurseryman Louis Boisbunel in the Rouen region of France was successfully able to crossbred quince with pear. The resulting pear variety was named Passé Crassane, and was later used to breed many other fine tasting pear varieties.

"...the passé-crassane, is actually a pear-quince hybrid that was developed in Normandy. It is particularly useful in cooking because of its firm, grainy flesh, but it is also tasty eaten raw."
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why, by Jonny Bowden, p144

I actually have a Passe Crassane tree, and it does appear like it could possibly be a pear-quince hybrid, in my opinion on very detailed inspection, although it does take much more strongly after pear. This pear variety has a naturally stunted growth habit, and the two fruits that have formed so far had tiny shrivelled up underformed seeds that were obviously not viable.

Another documented pear-quince hybrid is "Pyronia veitchii", which can be mail ordered from some nurseries. There are even different established cultivars of this intergeneric species, like 'Luxemburgiana'. There's plenty of pictures on the internet.
Pyronia veitchii resulted from a cross between the pear 'Bergamotte Esperen' (seed-parent) and the Portugal quince (pollinator).
The cross was made in 1895 by hybridiser John Seden, who was employed by the Veitch family who ran the famous nursery in England that bears their name.

The famed plant hybridizer Luther Burbank had made an attempt at crossbreeding quince with pear, but most of the seedlings had stunted growth, and after grafting some cuttings onto an apple tree for a few years he was unable to obtain any fruit. (Luther Burbank: Methods and Discoveries 4: 138-140, (1914))

It seems that only a small fraction of the seeds from an attempted pear-quince cross are viable, and many of the ones that do survive are either severely stunted or will not survive. Maybe only 4% of the hybrid seeds will be able to grow vigorously to the point they will someday be able to produce fruit.

Another source also describes pear-quince hybrids with fruit morphology somewhere in between pear and quince.
The Journal of Heredity (1916), Pyronia, article by Dr. L. Trabut, Botanist of the Government of Algeria

A quote from this source suggests this hybrid may not be able to produce fertile seed: "In 1915 an attempt was made to pollinate flowers of [this quince-pear hybrid] with pollen from various pears, but no fruits were obtained. I did not attempt to pollinate with quince pollen, though that might offer a better chance of success."


Something interesting I found, but it doesn't cite a source:
"Already in the 1930s Musa basjoo was crossed with Musa 'Mysore' successfully. In each of the 10 bunches was one seed found, total 10 seeds were found and 5 of them were germinated and yielded viable and healthy plants. This cross seemed never introducted to the market and also never tested as hardy fruit banana."
Bananas Raras

Last edited by SoCal2warm : 07-03-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: some thoughts about hybridizing Musa basjoo

At least Basjoo is technically in the same genus (Musa) as regular bananas.

Some of the other common hardy banana species, like Abyssinian banana, are in the genus Ensete. Or the very hardy Musa lasiocarpa, which is in the genus Musella, more closely related to Ensete than to Musa. Musella lasiocarpa is very hardy, I read one blog with pictures of it managing to survive and flower on a Kentucky farm, zone 6b.
These are basically "false bananas" and probably can't be hybridized with regular bananas (but I'm not completely sure about that).

Musa velutina (the pink banana) is in the subsection Rhodochlamys, even though that is combined by some taxonomists with the section Musa.

Musa itinerans (Giant Yunnan banana) may be another one of interest.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Smile Re: some thoughts about hybridizing Musa basjoo

This could be of interest.

Upham giant Basjoo

Last edited by cincinnana : 07-03-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: some thoughts about hybridizing Musa basjoo

All, I saw some great pictures of Basjoo on Hostafarian's site - BIG question - there were on one picture (with red walk behind zero turn mower in it) 4 pstems maybe 12 feet tall, all leaves from bottom cut off. NO PUPS (maybe 1). Anyway, our Basjoo have dozens and dozens of pups - literally cheek to jowl - touching each other. maybe 7 nice pstems and 40 pups. Is this why the big pstems do not get very big say 10 feet max to tip of leaves and pstem maybe 5 feet?
We have never watered but now are doing so (and fertilising which we never did before either). Should we remove some of (all?) of the pups, like just cut them off with as few roots as possible or no roots? We did thin this mat this year (first time) and took off like 15 or 20 "pups" - basically smaller plants as no idea of what is a "mother" plant.
AND is the explosion of pups due to having chopped in and removed all the small stuff this spring?
Love the form of the plants in the picture, so guess we will have to start chopping lower leaves. Always thought this would slow them down as less surface to produce food. BUT IS THIS TRUE? In our tree nursery, we will prune lower branches to get better height and if not overdone (25-30% of leaf area removed), this works. Is that the same for bananas??
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: some thoughts about hybridizing Musa basjoo

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjkfarm View Post
All, I saw some great pictures of Basjoo on Hostafarian's site - BIG question - there were on one picture (with red walk behind zero turn mower in it) 4 pstems maybe 12 feet tall, all leaves from bottom cut off. NO PUPS (maybe 1). Anyway, our Basjoo have dozens and dozens of pups - literally cheek to jowl - touching each other. maybe 7 nice pstems and 40 pups. Is this why the big pstems do not get very big say 10 feet max to tip of leaves and pstem maybe 5 feet?
We have never watered but now are doing so (and fertilising which we never did before either). Should we remove some of (all?) of the pups, like just cut them off with as few roots as possible or no roots? We did thin this mat this year (first time) and took off like 15 or 20 "pups" - basically smaller plants as no idea of what is a "mother" plant.
AND is the explosion of pups due to having chopped in and removed all the small stuff this spring?
Love the form of the plants in the picture, so guess we will have to start chopping lower leaves. Always thought this would slow them down as less surface to produce food. BUT IS THIS TRUE? In our tree nursery, we will prune lower branches to get better height and if not overdone (25-30% of leaf area removed), this works. Is that the same for bananas??
Cincinnana's fast answer.
For us, Basjoo are grown in pro gardening or commercial conditions.
Maintained plants in a number of gardens are fed an inexpensive garden fertilizer.
Products used are at the discretion of the management/landscape company
Plants are irrigated and in very rich loose soil.
Max pstem height locally in zone 5/6 is a reliable 9-12 ft
Average is 6-8 pstem height
Leaves are upright and 6-9+ feet.
Plants have a winter die back of -5 inches in heavily mulched soil.
No other winter protection is needed.
I have plants in zone 4 under similar conditions with the exception of extremely superfine sandy Michigan(45th parallel) soil and the results are similar. Banana plants love sandy loam soil.


For Mekong Giant fans .....this is exactly what your plant will do in zones 5-8.
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