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A functional approach to bunch formation in banana

Code: 9781838793388
D. W. Turner, School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia, Australia and D. J. Gibbs, Consultant, Perth, Australia

Chapter synopsis: Sustainable management of bananas requires knowledge of development, especially the pivotal processes of bunch formation. This chapter presents a functional analysis of the formation of the inflorescence up to flowering (bunch emergence), emphasising interaction of the plant with the environment. We discuss the role of cool temperature in shortening the juvenile phase and long photoperiod in shortening the mid-vegetative phase of development. We examine differentiation of functionally female flowers that form fruit and subsequently male flowers that do not form fruit. We conclude that hand formation and fruit number per hand are independent but coordinated processes. Genotype and environment determine the relationship between the number of hands per bunch and flowers per hand along the female peduncle. Further research is needed to quantify relationships that underpin new genotypes and management practices for sustainable banana production.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0020.11
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Gross morphology and bunch form 3 Phases of development in banana 4 The floral phase: overview 5 Inflorescence 6 Formation of hands and fruit: independent but closely coordinated processes 7 Growth of the aerial true stem 8 Case study: photosynthate availability and bunch formation in banana 9 Conclusion 10 Where to look for further information 11 References

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