Musa AAB "APPLE" AND Musa AA "MURARU" DESSERT BANANAS OF EAST AFRICA
CHARACTERIZATION OF EAST AFRICAN ACCESSIONS OF Musa AAB "APPLE" AND Musa AA "MURARU" DESSERT BANANAS
In this study, classification of the East African AAB Sukari Ndizi and East African AA Muraru bananas was done using molecular microsatellite markers (SSRs), morphological markers, flow cytometry ploidy analysis and horticultural trait evaluation. SSRs were useful for distinguishing bananas groups, separated 4 taxa of AAB Apple dessert banana accessions. Using cluster analysis, the Sukari Ndizi were classified as distinct taxon within the AAB Apple dessert bananas. Flow cytometry analysis confirmed that Sukari Ndizi is triploid AAB and Muraru is a diploid AA. Cluster analysis based on microsatellite data showed Muraru to be distinct taxon from other AA accessions, and very closely related to the commercial AAA dessert bananas. This study demonstrate that SSRs are useful and powerful tools for banana classification and for the analysis of biological relationships. Flow cytometry determined the ploidy levels of the banana accessions. Analysis of variance of replicated accession samples and the use of Pisum sativum as an internal standard with flow cytometry, made it possible to predict the actual genomic composition of various accessions.