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Species Bananas Discussions of all the different wild species of banana (non edible), an aspect of the hobby that deserves its own section.


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Old 06-13-2007, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default pollination of wild species

Hello together,

I have a question, how does the pollination of wild species work?
The Musa velutina for example needs only one flower to produce germinable seeds.
Musa Basjoo for example needs two flowers and the flowering plants should not be connected at the same rhizome.
Can anyone tell me why?
What other species need only one flower to produce seeds and what kind of musas need more flowering plants to produce seeds?
I would be grateful for any answer.

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Old 06-13-2007, 11:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

Musa velutina has bisexual basal flowers, so they self pollinate before any other pollen can pollinate it, there are only a few species that do this, the other I can think of at the moment are M. ingens, M. boman, M. mannii*, M. rubinea*, a form of M. acuminata ssp. banksii, M. monticola and M. schizocarpa. I think there are few more but I cannot remember them right now.

*note: fore some unknown reason, these two species often will not self pollinate out of habitat even though they produce bisexual basal flowers with functional pollen.

All wild species that do not have bisexual basal flowers, have female basal flowers and require pollination from male flowers. I have never heard that they need be not from the same plant, because you can pollinate female flowers with its very own male flowers on the same bunch even. When the very last female flowers open, in some species (Eumusa and Rhodochlamys usually work, there is too big of a gap in Callimusa species though) you can use the pollen from the first male flowers. Although inbreeding may not contribute to genetic diversity, it is crucial for some species in remote areas where there may be a single plant and it has no choice but to inbreed (M. jackeyi in many in Papua New Guinea).
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

I have never heard about it not working within the same mat either...and I hope that's wrong! There are two clumps of Musa basjoo down at the UT Gardens here in Knoxville, and one mat has four pseudostems blooming right now. I pollinated two hands of female flowers today, on two different buds. And I used pollen from another bud in the same mat, so hopefully it will take. It would just be fun to get some Musa basjoo seeds from a mat in zone 7a!
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

Hello,

and thanks a lot for the detailed description.

There exists a book about exotic plants in germany. The author wrote, that germinable seeds can only be produced by blooming Musa basjoos that aren't at the same rhizome.
I myself wondered about this conclusion.
Maybe that two flowerbuds at the same rhizome bloom at the same time and so the overlapping moment of the female and male flower is too short.
I will write the author a mail and ask him.
If he answers I will tell you.

Has anyone ever harvested germinable Basjooseeds?
In germany it doesn't work, because our summers aren't long enough and the fruits don't ripen.
@ Bigdog: please tell us if your pollination worked.

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Old 06-14-2007, 02:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

@Bigdog - Why not try to pollinate Musa basjoo with pollen from Musa sikkimensis, itinerans, yunnanensis, velutina, Chini Champa, Helen's Hybrid and any diploid fruit banana to get new hybrids with hardiness of Musa basjoo? One cross Musa basjoo x sikkimensis will be very good, one improved Musa sikkimensis with much better hardiness and at the same edible fruits. Triploizid it will result one really hardy fruit banana.

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Old 06-15-2007, 07:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

Joachim,

Funny you should mention that. I'm going to use what little M. velutina pollen I can get from an almost-done-flowering plant in another greenhouse to try to pollinate a few flowers. If I happened to have any of those other Musas flowering right now, I would definitely try! Not too often we get blooms in mid-June from Musa basjoo around here. M. sikkimensis X M. basjoo sounds like a promising cross, but getting it to be a triploid sounds a bit more challenging. Far as I know, they are both diploid species, so they would either produce a diploid offspring or double the chromosomes and produce a tetraploid. Unless you are talking about using colchicine to induce triploidy, which I don't know much about. M. basjoo X M. itinerans has been done in the past, but the plants have probably been lost forever in the jungles of Trinidad.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

A quick note on breeding: it does no good to try to derive triploids from wild species, because although they could be mostly sterile (if produced), they would not be parthenocarpic. It is a common misconception that bananas are parthenocarpic if they are triploid but this is not the case. They are two seperate systems within the plant. One way you can see this for yourself is by looking at the genomes of many edibles, there are diploids, triploids and tetraploids which are all parthenocarpic. In addition, sterility is not caused by ploidy alone in triploids, there are many different factors that determine sterility levels based on how they were originally selected, and even some triploids are highly fertile and some diploids are completely sterile.

So to make any use of M. basjoo in breeding (which does not even cross with wild diploids well at all, excepting M. itinerans), you would need to involve some fertile edible varieties.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

Bigdog, you seem to have made one cross between Musa basjoo and Musa velutina. It will be also an interesting hardy cross if it does work.

But Musa basjoo is from the Eumusa section and Musa velutina from the Rhodoclayms section, but I know one cross between one acuminata and anyone from the Rhodoclayms section.

Yes, it is impossible to cross bananas here in Germany for me. So I plan to emigrate to Brasil to the state Sao Paulo where the family of my guest daughter lives. Her dad was recently banana farmer and will help me to get one yard for one banana plantation. Also one friend from Vienna/Austria is biologist and has now tried crosses between basjoos, sikkis and other banana species, also fruit bananas by DNA fusion. Also he tried to triploidze Musa basjoo to get one hardy plantain banana. Also he might cross Musa basjoo and sikkimensis by DNA fusion in the laboratory and grow plants by tissue culture. Also he will go with me to Brasil to breed new hardy bananas. Brasil is a large country with different climates, in the south of Brasil it can be cold in the mountains and sometimes frosts and snow in the southern winter.

The biologist from Vienna will visit me in the next month when he has one business travel to Hamburg before I travel with my wife and my guest daughter to Brasil in August. He will bring me his new mutants of Musa basjoo and others.

With the best
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basjoofriend View Post
Bigdog, you seem to have made one cross between Musa basjoo and Musa velutina. It will be also an interesting hardy cross if it does work.

But Musa basjoo is from the Eumusa section and Musa velutina from the Rhodoclayms section, but I know one cross between one acuminata and anyone from the Rhodoclayms section.
I was able to pollinate an entire hand with the Musa velutina pollen I had left. Hope it takes...and hope the summer is nice and LONG so the bananas have time to ripen! I think they just might. The gardens doesn't usually see frost until November.

It is quite possible to cross Eumusa with Rhodochlamys. M. balbisiana will accept M. velutina pollen and produce fertile seeds. Hopefully M. basjoo will also!
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

Hi bigdog,

perhaps you get a new hardier velutina hybrid with basjoo blood. It will also be interesting for me. If you do have success, please tell me.

Best wishes
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: pollination of wild species

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
I was able to pollinate an entire hand with the Musa velutina pollen I had left. Hope it takes...and hope the summer is nice and LONG so the bananas have time to ripen! I think they just might. The gardens doesn't usually see frost until November.

It is quite possible to cross Eumusa with Rhodochlamys. M. balbisiana will accept M. velutina pollen and produce fertile seeds. Hopefully M. basjoo will also!

From Simmonds studies, M. basjoo and M. velutina do not cross well in either direction. Thats not to say its not good to still try, but I wouldn't expect much.

Also, I have a few seedlings of M. balbisiana x M. velutina on the way, so it will be interesting to see how they grow. They will most likely end up at the Denver Botanic Gardens in their collection where I can grow them out.
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