Early growth and development of Ensete ventricosum (Musaceae) seedlings
2013 (English)In: Journal of Plant Sciences, ISSN 2331-0723, EISSN 2331-0731, Vol. 1, no 1, 11-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Enset is drought-tolerant, multi-purpose crop which has, since ancient times, been part of a sustainable cropping system with high agro-biodiversity in Ethiopia. It could improve independent food and livelihood security more than currently and in larger areas. Enset is traditionally propagated vegetatively, and plants are harvested before seed-set. There is request for new cultivars, and traits could be improved by conventional breeding through seeds and selection. However, there is no documented knowledge on seedling growth and development under field conditions. Therefore, we undertook the first study on enset seedling performance. Seeds originating from three cultivated and three wild plants were used. Over 400 newly germinated seeds were planted outdoors in an area with traditional enset cultivation. Seedlings were grown in local soil only or with supplement of cow manure or a locally available inorganic fertilizer (DAP). During the first three weeks after germination, there was no difference due to substrate, while cow manure was efficient and enough for further growth. Within 24 months, seedlings planted in the field and supplied with manure, reached 1.5-2 m pseudostem circumference and four out of ten flowered; much faster and stronger growth than expected. It is concluded that it would be suitable to breed enset through sexual propagation, utilizing the genetic variation for selection and following established procedures for new cultivars. However, seeds must not be distributed for direct use; clones developed from selected seedlings can efficiently be vegetatively propagated and distributed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Science Publishing Group , 2013. Vol. 1, no 1, 11-17 p.
Abyssinian Banana, Breeding, Drought Tolerant Crop, Ethiopia, False Banana, Perennial Crop, Propagation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103895DOI: 10.11648/j.jps.20130101.13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-103895DiVA: diva2:692465