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- Author or Editor: Robooni Tumuhimbise x
East African banana (Musa sp.) breeding efforts have focused mainly on enhancing ‘Matooke’ productivity through the development of high-yielding, pathogen-resistant cultivars with adequate stability to contribute to regional food security. Before a breeding program can recommend promising cultivars for release, they must pass the sensory screens; be evaluated in the target population environments; and the data analyzed for yield, adaptability, and stability. Twenty-four primary and secondary triploid hybrids [NARITA (N)] derived from ‘Matooke’ bananas, six triploid local ‘Matooke’ cultivars, and one exotic cultivar were evaluated for their yield, adaptability, and stability across the East African region at three highland sites in Uganda’s western and central regions, as well as at three sites in Tanzania’s northeastern and southern highlands regions, from 2016–19. A randomized complete block design with four replicates was used for multisite trials. The mixed-model restricted maximum likelihood/best linear unbiased prediction approach, along with additive main effect multiplicative interaction model biplots, were used to dissect and visualize genotype-by-environment patterns. Following the likelihood ratio test, both genotype and interaction effects were highly significant, confirming the influence of genotype and site heterogeneity for selecting specific and broadly adapted cultivars. N23 had the greatest yield across all sites associated with adaptability and stability, outperforming the overall mean yield of all genotypes by 34.2%. In Tanzania, N27 (second), N7 (third), N18 (fourth), N4 (fifth), N12 (sixth), and N13 (seventh); and in Uganda, N17 (second), N18 (third), N2 (fourth), N8 (fifth), N13 (sixth), N12 (seventh), N4 (eighth), and N24 (ninth) demonstrated good adaptability and stability, as well as high yield. Furthermore, the fungal pathogen Pseudocercospora fijiensis had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on yield, stability, and adaptability of the hybrids. As a result, they can be introduced into areas where black leaf streak constrains banana production significantly and threatens farmers’ livelihoods. The average site yield potential ranged from 9.7 to 24.3 t⋅ha–1 per year. The best discriminating sites for testing breeding clones were Lyamungo in Tanzania and Sendusu in Uganda. Hence, these testing sites are recommended as ideal examples of locations for selecting superior genotypes.