AbstractAn experiment was established to characterize twenty-seven locally selected and introduced plantain clones. The clones were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Twenty morphological descriptors were used to obtain information of the plant, bunch and individual fruits at bunch-emergence and at harvest The clones were first organized into two main groups on the basis of their genomic constitution: true plantain (Musa AAB) and cooking banana (Musa ABB, AAAB). Within the second group, we included three Musa AAB clones that are considered distinctive cooking bananas because the M. acuminata species responsible for the donation of the A genome had its origin in the Pacific and not in Asia. In each main group the clones were subdivided into true-horn, false-horn and French on the basis of bunch phenotype. Clones in these three subgroups were further subdivided into tal! and dwarf, depending on the height of the pseudostem. After the clones were organized into this classification, statistical comparisons were made between or among those corresponding to the same subdivision, utilizing the data obtained from the plant, bunch and individual fruit traits. This scheme is easy to implement in the field, provides forthe clustering and separation of clones regardless of their geographical origin and common names, and offers the opportunity for agronomists and horticulturists to learn about the economic potential of the clones from the outset. The application of this scheme will allow the number of plantain accessions in the TARS collection to be reduced from 27 to 20 clones.
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