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Banana Seed Germination Forum As one of the toughest seeds in the plant kingdom to figure out the keys to germination success with, this is a forum with banana seed germination tips. Please entitle posts like "Musa balbisiana," or "Musa cheesmani," etc. People would then post a reply under that heading, sharing their germination successes (and failures), what materials and methods they used, germination percentage, etc.


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Old 02-16-2016, 12:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default What ARE "banana seeds"?

Not the kind that are oviously seeds that are in the fruit. If I ORDER "banana seeds" that's not what they are. They didnt come out of the banana fruit. They're HUGE stone looking things. Are they pups? What are they???

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Old 02-16-2016, 02:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

Bananas you buy in shops don't contain seeds as they don't develop properly
If you buy seeds and grow they the fruit will have seeds too
Pups are baby banana plants that grow off the main plant
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

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Bananas you buy in shops don't contain seeds as they don't develop properly
Incorrect. Bananas we grow for fruit are seedless hybrids.

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Originally Posted by Chipb2 View Post
If you buy seeds and grow they the fruit will have seeds too
True. But bananas that produce seeded fruit are propagated as ornamental plants and not for eating.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

Okay I saw something today that suggests that what is sold as "Banana seeds" comes from the flower????
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

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Okay I saw something today that suggests that what is sold as "Banana seeds" comes from the flower????
True. You're not going to get fruit or seeds without a flower.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

They are inside the banana



What makes it all confusing is how people on auction sites or online try to sell edible (seedless) varieties seed like "cavendish" by seed. If you buy "cavendish" or another edible variety seed it is not real.

Any banana seed you plant is going to grow seeded bananas.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

It's true that that if you buy banana seeds online that claim to be from an edible (i.e. seedless) banana fruit and thus will make edible bananas, they are not and is it indeed a scam.

However, on a technical note, it is not impossible to grow banana plants from seed which will produce plants with high quality edible fruit without seeds. This is how new banana cultivars are produced in traditional breeding programs, such as all of the FHIA cultivars, as well as the ancestral base cultivars of all edible banana subgroups.

The technical details get fairly complicated once you dive into it, but one of the best perspectives on the matter I find is a note from famed banana science grandfather Norman Simmonds who points out that seedlessness in bananas is really better viewed as a condition, and not a trait. A given edible/parthenocarpic banana cultivar may not have seeds in the fruit under most observed conditions, but many cultivars will indeed set viable seed if pollinated with good viable pollen. It is not a practical means of propagation in the least bit, but it is how new cultivars can be born.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

Where s the genetic "issue" in cavendish bananas? Is it the pollen that is faulty or the female gamete? Could a cavendish x velutina give viable seeds?
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

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Where s the genetic "issue" in cavendish bananas? Is it the pollen that is faulty or the female gamete? Could a cavendish x velutina give viable seeds?
Cavendish cultivars are generally both male and female sterile, there are many reasons for sterility, I don't know the exact reasons off the top of my head for Cavendish clones, but they are generally severe and unavoidable. Across different clones the reasons vary, many involve errors in gamete production, some are more physiological such as pollen tube growth inhibition in the style.

A small number of Cavendish clones have been known to set seed in small amounts, and produce fertile pollen, but they are far from efficient or bountiful. Even with fertile edible bananas, the exact cross has a great deal of importance sometimes. A Cavendish x M. velutina cross is not totally theoretically impossible, but I would not expect anything to come from it. Cavendish is one of the worst parents to use in banana breeding, which is unfortunate because it is of course in much need of improvement. Even Gros Michel is relatively fertile compared to Cavendish clones, and some of the seed set rates in Gros Michel have come out to about 5 seeds per 10,000 pollinated bunches.
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Last edited by Gabe15 : 02-25-2016 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

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Originally Posted by Gabe15 View Post
Cavendish cultivars are generally both male and female sterile, there are many reasons for sterility, I don't know the exact reasons off the top of my head for Cavendish clones, but they are generally severe and unavoidable. Across different clones the reasons vary, many involve errors in gamete production, some are more physiological such as pollen tube growth inhibition in the style.

A small number of Cavendish clones have been known to set seed in small amounts, and produce fertile pollen, but they are far from efficient or bountiful. Even with fertile edible bananas, the exact cross has a great deal of importance sometimes. A Cavendish x M. velutina cross is not totally theoretically impossible, but I would not expect anything to come from it. Cavendish is one of the worst parents to use in banana breeding, which is unfortunate because it is of course in much need of improvement. Even Gros Michel is relatively fertile compared to Cavendish clones, and some of the seed set rates in Gros Michel have come out to about 5 seeds per 10,000 pollinated bunches.
Ok, thank you... I hoped one cold somehow obtain an hybrid that was small and quick like a velutina, hardy like a sikkimensis, and partenocarpic like a Cavendish (a type which would make seedless seeds if one would remove the male part of the flower), but apperently I dream too much...
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

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Ok, thank you... I hoped one cold somehow obtain an hybrid that was small and quick like a velutina, hardy like a sikkimensis, and partenocarpic like a Cavendish (a type which would make seedless seeds if one would remove the male part of the flower), but apperently I dream too much...
I share your dreams and have been working on this on and off for the last 10 years, it's a slow process, but I believe it can be done.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What ARE "banana seeds"?

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Even Gros Michel is relatively fertile compared to Cavendish clones, and some of the seed set rates in Gros Michel have come out to about 5 seeds per 10,000 pollinated bunches.
I know this is a fairly old thread but I've been doing a lot of reading about breeding bananas. I'd would love to try to develop a new variety... or two :-)

In the following article they interviewed Fernando Aguilar (chief banana breeder for the Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Investigation or FHIA) Can This Fruit Be Saved? | Popular Science

The Article states:
"What are the odds of an individual seed ultimately yielding a thriving hybrid? "About 1 in 10,000," Aguilar says.
It takes about four months for a pollinated plant to bear fruit, which is harvested and brought to a processing shed for seed extraction. Workers press thousands of bananas through mesh strainers. About one seed is found for every 300 bananas. The seeds are then brought indoors, to what Aguilar calls the "embryo rescue unit." Of the tiny number of seeds, only a third of them actually germinate."

But Gabe, What varieties would you think were best for trying to produce some seeds?

And are crosses with Orinocos more likely to produce seedless fruit? IF so, they'd also be a good choice to try to increase cold hardiness. :-)

Are there any Videos or articles anywhere on hand pollinating bananas? Anyone know?
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