AbstractThe French-type 'Dwarf Superplátano' (Musa AAB), a reverted clone selected from the local false horn-type 'Common Dwarf' plantain, was subjected to various bunch management treatments at three locations. The immature bunches were pruned to either three, four or five uppermost hands. Those pruned to four and five hands were either sprayed with a gibberelllc acid solution or not sprayed. Both sprayed and unsprayed bunches were immediately bagged or left unbagged. Spraying with gibberellic acid and bagging, alone or combined, had no significant effect on bunch yield components nor on fruit traits. Regardless of location, pruning significantly reduced bunch size and the time needed for fruit filling. Bunches pruned to five, four and three hands averaged 79, 66 and 50 fruits, respectively. Pruning from five to three hands significantly reduced fruit filling to 112 days. Pruning also affected bunch yield and bunch mean fruit weight, but the effect varied with location. A reduction in bunch size from five to four hands at Corozal and from four to three hands at Salinas and Yauco substantially reduced bunch yield by 12 and 23%, respectively. Bunch mean fruit weight significantly increased at the expense of reducing bunch size to three hands at Corozal and to four hands at Salinas and Yauco. Bunch mean fruit weight at Corozal was always superior to that at Yauco. Regardless of location, pruning significantly brought about an increase in fruit size in the distal hand. The thickest and largest fruits were produced in bunches pruned to three hands. Likewise, pruning significantly increased mean fruit weight in the distal hand, but the effect varied with location. At Corozal, fruits in the distal hand of bunches pruned to three hands attained the heaviest mean weight, 355 g. Regardless of location, a reduction in hands from five to four upgraded fruits in the distal hand from non-marketable to marketable by increasing their weight to over 270 g. We inferred that under intensive management the French-type 'Dwarf Superplátano' clone with the bunch pruned to four uppermost hands has the potential to yield 173,000 fruits per hectare, equivalent to 57.6 t of fruits per hectare. These fruits conform to the local marketing standards established for the 'Maricongo' plantain.
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