Genetic Variability and Distance of East Africa Cooking Banana (Musa sp.) Clones for Morpho-physicochemical Traits

  • Wassu Mohammed Haramaya University, School of Plant Sciences
  • Kebede W/Tsadik Haramaya University, School of Plant Sciences
  • Tekalign Tsgaw Haramaya University, School of Plant Sciences
  • Kiflemariam Yehula Bahir Dar University, Department of Plant Sciences


Understanding the genetic variability and diversity of crops is the basis for breeding and improving the crops. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted at Dire Dawa, eastern Ethiopia to evaluate 11 cooking banana (Musa sp.) clones of East Africa origin. The clones were planted in randomized complete block design with five replications. Genetic variability and distance of the clones were studied considering 19 morpho-physicochemical traits. The differences among the clones were significant for all traits except mean hand weight. Both phenotypic and genotypic coefficients of variation were moderate to high ranging from 6.67 to 57.22 and 1.21 to 47.26, respectively, with low differences in the magnitude of all traits except number of leaves at harvest, leaf breadth, and total soluble solid. A positive and more significant genotypic correlation than phenotypic correlation was observed between bunch weights with its components (mean weight of hand, number of fruits per hand and fruit weight). High heritability and expected genetic advance were detected for most of the traits, which ranged from 3.30 to 91.24 and 0.39 to 68.71%, respectively, indicating the expression of these traits, were more dependent on genetic rather than non-genetic factors. Clustering of clones resulted in two groups with one group comprising a single clone (Wendo Genet 3) while the remaining 10 forming one big group. In conclusion, the results of the study have revealed the presence of considerable genetic distances among the east African cooking banana clones. The results demonstrated that higher bunch weights and fruit yields could be achieved through indirect selection of yield components. The existence wider genetic variability among the clones can be utilized for improving the crop to enhance food production and income of farming communities.


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