Assessing New Banana Genotypes for Relevant Traits: Implication for Variety Selection
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Understanding the performance of new crop genotypes for traits of relevance is important in selecting potential cultivars to satisfy end-users. The objective of this study was to determine the performance of new banana genotypes for bunch mass (BMS) and BMS-related traits, resistance to black Sigatoka and sensory attributes. Eight cooking banana genotypes consisting of six new hybrid genotypes selected from advanced breeding trials and two control cultivars were evaluated in a randomized complete block design for three crop cycles at three locations in Uganda. Genotype, location, crop cycle and their interaction effects were significantly different for most traits assessed. The overall top two genotypes (“9058K-2” and “8099K-16”) combining high BMS, resistance to black Sigatoka and acceptable sensory attributes were identified. These genotypes are suggested as potential commercial cultivars for release to farmers in Uganda and/or other East African countries with similar environmental conditions to those where the genotypes were tested. It should be noted that high BMS/yield and resistance to diseases are not the only factors to consider when selecting banana genotypes that meet end-user needs. A combination of high BMS/yield, acceptable sensory attributes and resistance to diseases essentially influence the selection process of banana cultivars.