New High-yield Cooking Banana Cultivars with Multiple Resistances to Pests and Diseases (‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’) Released in Uganda

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  • 1 National Banana Research Programme, National Agricultural Research Organisation, P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda
  • 2 Bioversity International, Box 24384, Kampala, Uganda
  • 3 National Banana Research Programme, National Agricultural Research Organisation, P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda

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‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’ are secondary triploid cooking banana cultivars. They were bred by the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda, and officially released and added to the national cultivar list by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in 2017. The cultivars are highly resistant to black Sigatoka, a fungal disease caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis (Morelet), which was the main breeding target. In addition, they are resistant to the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus (Germar) and nematodes, the pests of most economic concern in banana production, especially in the lowland areas of central and eastern Uganda. Compared with the local cultivars, which have an average bunch yield of less than 30% of their potential of 60 to 70 t/ha/year, ‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’ produce average bunch yields of 54.9 t/ha/year, 60.4 t/ha/year, 64.7 t/ha/year, and 68.8 t/ha/year, respectively. Moreover, they have soft, tasty, aromatic, and near-yellow food color, which make them appreciated like the existing farmer-accustomed local cooking banana cultivars that have, however, a low yield and are susceptible to pests and diseases.

Origin

Banana (Musa spp.) is an important food and cash crop grown extensively in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world (FAOSTAT, 2016). In Uganda, the cooking type of banana commonly known as East African highland banana occupies the largest cultivated area among staple food crops and is grown by more than 75% of the farmers. The current productivity of cooking banana cultivars in the country is less than 30% of their potential of 60 to 70 t/ha/year (Tushemereirwe et al., 2001). Moreover, their plantation life in some areas of Uganda has reduced enormously to less than 5 years (Tushemereirwe et al., 2001). The reduced productivity and plantation life are largely attributed to susceptibility of the local cultivars to the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus (Germar), burrowing nematodes, and black Sigatoka (Brown et al., 2017). One of the key strategies for addressing these challenges in the country is by developing resistant cultivars through breeding. This article presents four new cooking banana cultivars (NAROBan1, NAROBan2, NAROBan3, and NAROBan4) bred and released in Uganda.

‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’ (Fig. 1) are secondary triploid banana hybrids derived from interspecific interploidy crosses made by scientists of NARO in Uganda. ‘NAROBan1’ originated from a cross of ‘917K-1’ (‘Enzirabahima’ × ‘Calcutta4’) × ‘SH3217’, ‘NAROBan2’ from ‘365K-1’ (‘Kabucuragye’ × ‘Calcutta4’) × ‘SH3362’, ‘NAROBan3’ from ‘917K-2’ (‘Enzirabahima’ × ‘Calcutta4’) × ‘SH3217’ and ‘NAROBan4’ from ‘246K-1’ (‘Kabucuragye’ × Musa balbisiana) × ‘TMB2X7197-2’. Four hundred botanical seeds of each cross were harvested and their embryos germinated in vitro as described by Vuylsteke et al. (1990). A total of 500 hardened seedlings pooled from all the crosses were established in a single-site, nonreplicated, on-station early-evaluation trial at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories-Kawanda, Uganda, from 2005 to 2008. Fifteen cooking-type triploid hybrid bananas identified by flow cytometry (Karamura et al., 2016), with pendent bunches, resistance to black Sigatoka, and a bunch weight of ≥10 kg/plant were selected and multiplied in vitro for further evaluation in replicated randomized complete block design (RCBD) preliminary yield trials (PYTs) at three locations. The PYTs were established in 2009 and the hybrids were evaluated for bunch yield; response to black Sigatoka, weevils, and nematodes; and consumer acceptability for three cycles. Four promising hybrids combining high bunch yield; resistance to black Sigatoka, weevils, and nematodes; and high-quality fruit attributes were selected from PYTs of the 15 hybrids evaluated. The four hybrids selected, together with four other closely similar and already adopted cultivars (Kisansa, Enjagata, Mbwazirume, and Kabana 6H), were further evaluated in six regional on-farm trials in Nakabango, Nakaseke, Mukono, Ntungamo, Hoima, and Kawanda for two ratoon crop cycles from 2014 to 2017. The average rainfall received in Nakabango was 1150 mm; Nakaseke, 1240 mm; Mukono, 1390; Ntungamo, 900 mm; Hoima, 1371 mm; and Kawanda, 1280 mm. The trial at each site was laid out in an RCBD, with three replications using 2-month-old tissue culture plants that were planted in deep holes (0.4 m deep and 0.6 m wide) spaced at 3 × 3 m, giving a plant population density of 1111 plants/ha. Line plots of eight plants per genotype per block were used. At planting, 5 kg of well-decomposed organic manure were applied to each hole. Blocks were surrounded by ‘Mbwazirume’, a check cultivar susceptible to black Sigatoka, weevils, and nematodes. The trials were conducted without supplemental irrigation and the areas were weeded regularly. The new hybrids were evaluated under codes M19, M20, M25, and M27, and later released by MAAIF in 2017 as ‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’, respectively. ‘NAROBan’ denotes the institution NARO, which developed these hybrids. Genotypic response to black Sigatoka infection as the main target constraint was assessed using the index of nonspotted leaf (INSL) as described by Orjeda (1998). Their response to weevil damage was assessed according to Gold et al. (1998), and that of nematode damage according to Speijer and De Waele (2001). Growth and yield parameters were evaluated at flowering and at harvest according to Swennen and De Langhe (1985). Consumer acceptability tests of the genotypes’ cooked food were completed by a panel of 60 trained banana farmers (35 women and 25 men) based on five sensory attributes—taste, aroma, mouth feel, color, and overall acceptability—using a scale of 1 to 6, where 1 = dislike extremely, 2 = dislike, 3 = like fairly, 4 = like, 5 = like very much, and 6 = like extremely. Data collected across six sites and two ratoon crop cycles were averaged and analyzed using GenStat, version 14 (Payne et al., 2011). Trait means were separated using least significance differences at P < 0.05 (Payne et al., 2011).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Bunches of the four new cooking banana cultivars released in Uganda in 2017: (A) NAROBan1, (B) NAROBan2, (C) NAROBan3, and (D) NAROBan4.

Citation: HortScience horts 53, 9; 10.21273/HORTSCI13207-18

Description

The field trial performance results (Table 1) show that ‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’ are medium to tall cultivars with wide pseudostem girths, high bunch yields and a resistance to black Sigatoka. The average bunch yield of ‘NAROBan1’ is 54.9 t/ha/year; ‘NAROBan2’, 60.4 t/ha/year; ‘NAROBan3’, 64.7 t/ha/year; and ‘NAROBan4’, 68.8 t/ha/year. These yields are much greater than those of the local check cooking banana cultivars (Mbwazirume, Enjagata, and Kisansa), which range from 23.4 t/ha/year for ‘Enjagata’ to 34.4 t/ha/year for ‘Kisansa’ (Table 1). Production of high bunch yield is one of the most important selection criteria considered by farmers when deciding on cultivars for cultivation (Akankwasa et al., 2013). Of the four new cultivars, ‘NAROBan4’ is the tallest, with an average pseudostem height of 341.8 cm, followed by ‘NAROBan3’ with 339.9 cm and ‘NAROBan2’ with 320.0 cm. ‘NAROBan1’, on the other hand, is the shortest cultivar, with a desirable average pseudostem height of 281.1cm. Although tall banana plants (>300 cm) are not desirable because of their vulnerability to wind breaks, ‘NAROBan4’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan2’ have correspondingly wide, robust pseudostem girths of more than 53 cm, which are able to support their heavy bunches. All of the four new cultivars have greater levels of black Sigatoka resistance than their counterpart local cooking cultivars already widely grown by farmers (Table 1). The resistance of new cultivars to black Sigatoka was determined by an INSL value of more than 70% compared with that of local check cultivars, which was less than 50% (Table 1). Orjeda (1998) revealed that bananas require more than 70% of active leaf foliage at flowering for proper development of the banana fruit. Black Sigatoka, a wind-borne fungal disease, attacks the banana leaves, causing a decrease in functional leaf area, which results in a decline in the quality and quantity of the fruit because the fruit of infected plants ripen prematurely before proper filling (Daniells, 2009). Resistance to black Sigatoka results from the interaction between a major recessive gene and two modifiers with additive effects (Vuylsteke et al., 1993). Furthermore, the performances of ‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’ for resistance to banana weevils and nematodes are close to that of ‘Yangambi-KM5’, a check cultivar resistant to banana weevils and nematodes, implying they are resistant to weevils and nematodes (Table 2). The new cultivars also have high consumer acceptable fruit sensory attributes—namely, yellow, aromatic, tasty, and soft upon cooking (Table 3). During the sensory assessments, their overall acceptance was closest to that of ‘Mbwazirume’, the most acceptable local cooking banana cultivar for sensory attributes (Table 3). Akankwasa et al. (2013) revealed that, for a new banana cultivar to satisfy end user needs, it must be balanced in terms of bunch yield, resistance to pests and diseases, and sensory attributes. Certainly, the new cultivars combine high bunch yield with multiple resistances to black Sigatoka, weevils, and nematodes (especially Radopholus similis), and good sensory attributes. Banana weevils and nematodes have been underlined as the most economically concerning pests of banana production, reducing its plantation life and productivity, especially in the lowland areas of east and central Uganda (Tushemereirwe et al., 2001). The key descriptors of ‘NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’ that make them distinct from other close cooking banana cultivars are presented in Table 4.

Table 1.

Mean performance of eight banana cultivars, including new hybrids, evaluated for bunch yield, number of hands, plant height, plant girth, number of functional leaves, and index of nonspotted leaf across two ratoon crop cycles and six sites in Uganda from 2014 to 2017.

Table 1.
Table 2.

Mean performance of seven cultivars evaluated for cross-sectional corm damage by weevils, and percentage of root necrosis by nematodes for two ratoon crop cycles at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories-Kawanda in Uganda from 2014 to 2017.

Table 2.
Table 3.

Mean performance of the four new cooking banana cultivars, local check cultivar ‘Mbwazirume’, and hybrid check cultivar ‘Kabana 6H’ evaluated for fruit sensory attributes across two ratoon crop cycles and six sites in Uganda from 2014 to 2017.

Table 3.
Table 4.

Key descriptive features of four new cooking banana cultivars released in Uganda in 2017.

Table 4.

Availability

NAROBan1’, ‘NAROBan2’, ‘NAROBan3’, and ‘NAROBan4’ are officially released banana cultivars being maintained in on-station fields and in vitro by the National Banana Research Program of NARO in Kawanda, Uganda. They can be accessed through NARO and designated private tissue culture laboratories in the country.

Literature Cited

  • Akankwasa, K., Ortmann, G.F., Wale, E. & Tushemereirwe, W.K. 2013 Farmers’ choice among recently developed hybrid banana varieties in Uganda: A multinomial logit analysis Agrekon 52 25 51

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brown, A., Tumuhimbise, R., Amah, D., Uwimana, B., Nyine, M., Mduma, H., Talengera, D., Karamura, D., Kuriba, J. & Swennen, R. 2017 Bananas and plantains (Musa spp.), p. 219–240. In: H. Campos and P.D.S. Caligari (eds.). Genetic improvement of tropical crops. Springer Nature, Switzerland

  • Daniells, J.W. 2009 Global banana disease management: Getting serious with sustainability and food security Acta Hort. 828 411 416

  • FAOSTAT 2016 FAOSTAT: Crops and products domain. Rome, Italy: FAO. 25 May 2018. <http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC>

  • Gold, C.S., Night, G., Speijer, P.R., Abera, A. & Rukazambuga, N.D.T.M. 1998 Infestation levels of banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in banana plants established from treated propagules in Uganda Afr. Entomol. 6 253 263

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Karamura, D., Tumuhimbise, R., Muhangi, S., Nyine, M., Pillay, M., Tendo, R.S., Talengera, D., Namanya, P., Kubiriba, J. & Karamura, E. 2016 Ploidy level of the banana (Musa spp.) accessions at the germplasm collection centre for the east and central Africa Afr. J. Biotechnol. 15 1692 1698

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Orjeda, G. 1998 Evaluation of Musa germplasm for resistance to Sigatoka diseases and Fusarium wilt. INIBAP technical guidelines 3. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy; International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, Montpellier, France; ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, Wageningen, The Netherlands

  • Payne, R.W., Harding, S.A., Murray, D.A., Soutar, D.M., Baird, D.B., Glaser, A.I., Welham, S.J., Gilmour, A.R., Thompson, R. & Webster, R. 2011 The guide to Genstat Release14. Part 2: Statistics. VSN International, Hemel Hempstead, UK

  • Speijer, P.R. & De Waele, D. 2001 Nematodes associated with East African highland cooking bananas and cv. Pisang Awak (Musa spp.) in central Uganda Nematology 3 535 541

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swennen, R. & De Langhe, E. 1985 Growth parameters of yield of plantain (Musa spp. cv. AAB) Ann. Bot. 56 197 204

  • Tushemereirwe, W.K., Karamura, D., Ssali, H., Bwamiki, D., Kashaija, I., Nankinga, C., Bagamba, F., Kangire, A. & Sebuliba, R. 2001 Bananas (Musa spp). In: K. Mukiibi Joseph (ed.). Agriculture in Uganda, vol. 11 (crops). Fountain Publishers, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation/National Agricultural Research Organization, Kampala, Africa

  • Vuylsteke, D., Swennen, R. & De Langhe, E. 1990 Tissue culture technology for the improvement of African plantains, p. 316–337. In: R.A. Fullerton and R.H. Stover (eds.). Sigatoka leaf spot diseases of bananas. Proc. Intl. Wkshp., San Jose, Costa Rica, 28 Mar.–1 Apr. 1989. Intl. Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, Montpellier, France

  • Vuylsteke, D., Swennen, R. & Ortiz, R. 1993 Development and performance of black Sigatoka-resistant tetraploid hybrids of plantain (Musa spp, AAB group) Euphytica 65 33 42

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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Contributor Notes

The authors thank the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa for the financial support, and the farmers for supporting the National Agricultural Research Organisation in hosting the on-farm trials and providing information on banana variety preferences.

Corresponding author. E-mail: rtumuhimbise@hotmail.com.

  • View in gallery

    Bunches of the four new cooking banana cultivars released in Uganda in 2017: (A) NAROBan1, (B) NAROBan2, (C) NAROBan3, and (D) NAROBan4.

  • Akankwasa, K., Ortmann, G.F., Wale, E. & Tushemereirwe, W.K. 2013 Farmers’ choice among recently developed hybrid banana varieties in Uganda: A multinomial logit analysis Agrekon 52 25 51

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brown, A., Tumuhimbise, R., Amah, D., Uwimana, B., Nyine, M., Mduma, H., Talengera, D., Karamura, D., Kuriba, J. & Swennen, R. 2017 Bananas and plantains (Musa spp.), p. 219–240. In: H. Campos and P.D.S. Caligari (eds.). Genetic improvement of tropical crops. Springer Nature, Switzerland

  • Daniells, J.W. 2009 Global banana disease management: Getting serious with sustainability and food security Acta Hort. 828 411 416

  • FAOSTAT 2016 FAOSTAT: Crops and products domain. Rome, Italy: FAO. 25 May 2018. <http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC>

  • Gold, C.S., Night, G., Speijer, P.R., Abera, A. & Rukazambuga, N.D.T.M. 1998 Infestation levels of banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in banana plants established from treated propagules in Uganda Afr. Entomol. 6 253 263

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Karamura, D., Tumuhimbise, R., Muhangi, S., Nyine, M., Pillay, M., Tendo, R.S., Talengera, D., Namanya, P., Kubiriba, J. & Karamura, E. 2016 Ploidy level of the banana (Musa spp.) accessions at the germplasm collection centre for the east and central Africa Afr. J. Biotechnol. 15 1692 1698

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Orjeda, G. 1998 Evaluation of Musa germplasm for resistance to Sigatoka diseases and Fusarium wilt. INIBAP technical guidelines 3. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy; International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, Montpellier, France; ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, Wageningen, The Netherlands

  • Payne, R.W., Harding, S.A., Murray, D.A., Soutar, D.M., Baird, D.B., Glaser, A.I., Welham, S.J., Gilmour, A.R., Thompson, R. & Webster, R. 2011 The guide to Genstat Release14. Part 2: Statistics. VSN International, Hemel Hempstead, UK

  • Speijer, P.R. & De Waele, D. 2001 Nematodes associated with East African highland cooking bananas and cv. Pisang Awak (Musa spp.) in central Uganda Nematology 3 535 541

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swennen, R. & De Langhe, E. 1985 Growth parameters of yield of plantain (Musa spp. cv. AAB) Ann. Bot. 56 197 204

  • Tushemereirwe, W.K., Karamura, D., Ssali, H., Bwamiki, D., Kashaija, I., Nankinga, C., Bagamba, F., Kangire, A. & Sebuliba, R. 2001 Bananas (Musa spp). In: K. Mukiibi Joseph (ed.). Agriculture in Uganda, vol. 11 (crops). Fountain Publishers, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation/National Agricultural Research Organization, Kampala, Africa

  • Vuylsteke, D., Swennen, R. & De Langhe, E. 1990 Tissue culture technology for the improvement of African plantains, p. 316–337. In: R.A. Fullerton and R.H. Stover (eds.). Sigatoka leaf spot diseases of bananas. Proc. Intl. Wkshp., San Jose, Costa Rica, 28 Mar.–1 Apr. 1989. Intl. Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, Montpellier, France

  • Vuylsteke, D., Swennen, R. & Ortiz, R. 1993 Development and performance of black Sigatoka-resistant tetraploid hybrids of plantain (Musa spp, AAB group) Euphytica 65 33 42

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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