G9 Tissue Culture Banana Cultivation, Farming Practices

Introduction to G9 tissue culture banana cultivation

Grand Naine bananas are banana cultivars of Musa acuminata. Grand Naine is one of the most commonly cultivated bananas and a member of the commercial Cavendish banana cultivar group. The propagation of a plant by using a plant part or single cell or group cell in a test tube under very controlled and hygienic conditions is known as “Tissue Culture”. Banana is a water-loving plant, requires a large quantity of water for maximum productivity. But roots are poor withdrawal of water. Therefore under Indian condition banana production should be supported by an efficient irrigation system like a drip irrigation system.

A step by step guide to G9 tissue culture banana cultivation

Grand Naine banana or G9 banana plant is the genus Musa acuminata Banana is produced in good quality in India through tissue culture techniques. G9 needs adequate irrigation while they can grow on dry land. There is the problem of keeping a water pump for irrigation and many farmers have rented land to cultivate bananas.

Tissue culture banana cultivation.
Tissue culture banana cultivation.

Characters of Grand Nain Banana variety;

  • High yield (Avg. 30 kg per plant)
  • Long cylindrical fruits with less curvature.
  • Good keeping quality.
  • The attractive yellowish-green colour at maturity.
  • Internationally acceptable as fresh fruit and in processed form.

The traditional banana farming encountered several problems like non-availability of disease-free uniform suckers, high mortality in the field during establishment due to excessive flood irrigation, long gestation period, and low yield. The reasons behind this can be adduced to the non-availability of disease-free quality planting material and lack of hi-tech farming awareness among the growers. Mass propagation of disease-free high yielding clones to produce consistently uniform and true to type plants by tissue culture farming is the only alternative for banana plantations. Though the majority of the plant tissue culture biotech companies in India are engaged in the production of different varieties of Banana seedlings, the variety Grande Naine or Grand Naine occupies major share.

Grande Naine is one of the most commonly cultivated Cavendish bananas. These are the high yielding plantain among all the plant varieties which is introduced to India. It is the solid green fruit with high export value and economically highly profitable producing 16 hands and 16 fingers consisting of about 225-250 fruits per plant. This plant variety has good wind resistance and excellent landscaping potential.

Bananas are high in fibre, and can help keep you regular. One banana can provide 10% of your daily fibre requirement. Vitamin B6 can help protect against Type 2 diabetes and aid in weight loss, according to Flores. The tissue culture method offers a rapid method of multiplication of quality, uniform, pest, and disease-free production of planting materials in large quantities in banana. The productivity of banana can be mainly increased by the cultivation of tissue culture plants.

The banana tissue culture process mainly involves;

  • Initiation of aseptic cultures from shoot-tips obtained from disease-free plants.
  • Multiplication of the shoots to the desired scale.
  • Induction of roots to individual shoots.
  • Primary and secondary hardening of the tender plantlets in the poly-house.
  • Field-transfer of the hardened tissue culture plants.

Grand Naine banana is gaining popularity and may soon be the most preferred variety due to its tolerance to biotic stresses and good quality bunches. Though, bunches have well-spaced hands with the straight orientation of figures, bigger. Fruit develops an attractive uniform yellow color with better shelf-life and quality than other cultivars. G9 is a high yielding Cavendish variety. The Plant grows to a height of about 6.5 to 7.5 Feet. The bunches can be harvested within 11 to 12 months from the date of planting the tissue culture plants. The fruits of the Grand Naine Banana variety are delicious to eat and then keeping quality of the fruit is high compared to our native varieties. It is recommended to plant 1200 plants/acre with a spacing of about 6 x 6 ft. Planting the tissue culture plants in the main field adopting the improved horticultural practices like drip irrigation, fertilizers and manuring, integrated nutrient management and integrated pest and disease management.

Soil conditions for G9 tissue culture banana cultivation

Banana is a tropical crop, grows well in varied temperature ranging from humid tropical to dry mild subtropics through a selection of appropriate varieties such as Grand Naine. It is moisture- and also heat-loving plant and cannot tolerate frost or arid conditions.

Soil for banana has good drainage, adequate fertility, and moisture. Deep, rich loamy soil with a pH level between 6-7.5 is most preferred for banana cultivation. Inadequate drained, poorly aerated, and nutritionally deficient soils are not suitable for banana. Saline solid and calcareous soil is not suitable for Banana cultivation. Avoided soil of low laying areas, very sandy, and heavy black cotton with ill drainage. A soil that is not too acidic and not too alkaline, rich in organic material with high nitrogen content, adequate phosphorus level, and plenty of potash are good for banana cultivation.

Tissue culture banana cultivation

The tissue culture method is the growth of tissues or cells separate from the organism. This is typically facilitated by the use of a liquid, semi-solid, or solid growth medium, such as broth or agar, in vitro under sterile growing conditions. Banana is propagated vegetatively; thus tissue culture as a propagation technique provides a robust means to prepare disease-free planting materials that can provide the first line of defense in developing an integrated disease-management program for banana. Tissue-culture methods established for banana include shoot and meristem culture, callus culture, somatic embryogenesis, cell suspension, and protoplast cultures. Though, commercial tissue-cultured banana seedlings are not always conveniently available. Larger-scale banana farmers may wish to establish a banana tissue-culture facility in-farm to ensure the availability of disease-free seedlings for replanting in conjunction with a practice of roguing (destroying) diseased banana plants.

Land preparation for G9 tissue culture banana cultivation

Before planting banana, grow the green manuring crop like daincha, and cowpea, etc. and bury it in the soil. The land can be ploughed 2 to 4 times and levelled. Use a harrow or rotavator to break the clod and bring the soil to a fine tilt. During soil preparation, the basal dose of FYM is added and then thoroughly mixed into the soil.

A pit size of 45cm x 45cm x 45cm is generally required. Then, the pits are to be refilled with topsoil mixed with 10 kg of FYM (well decomposed), 250 gm of Neem cake, and 20 gm of conbofuron. Prepared pits are left to solar radiation helps in killing the harmful insects, are effective against soil-borne diseases, and aids aeration. In saline-alkali soil where pH level is above 8 Pit mixtures are to be modified to incorporate organic matter.

The addition of organic matter helps in reducing salinity while the addition of perlite improves porosity and aeration. An alternative to planting in pits is planting in furrows. Depending on soil strata one can select an appropriate method as well as spacing and depth at which plant is required to be planted.

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Spacing and planting material for G9 tissue culture banana cultivation

For Grand Naine banana 6 feet x 5 feet spacing has proved ideal. Even 6 feet x 6 feet, 7 feet x 5 feet could also be used considering climate and soil conditions.

Sword suckers weighing about 500-1000 gm are commonly used as propagating material. Suckers may be infected with some pathogens and nematodes. Also due to the variation in age and size of sucker the crop is not uniform, harvesting is prolonged and management becomes difficult.

Therefore, in-vitro clonal propagation i.e. tissue culture plants are recommended for banana planting. They are disease-free, healthy, uniform, and authentic. Properly hardened secondary seedlings are recommended for planting.

Advantages of G9 tissue culture banana cultivation

  • The ‘banana tissue culture propagation’ is now an established and popular method due to the advantages it offers such as large-scale production of disease-free planting materials, comparatively uniform plant-stand in the field, early harvesting of superior fruit bunches, and round the year availability of the planting materials, etc.
  • Tissue culture methods allow farmers to select genetics they wish to propagate on a mass scale. This can be done with genetic transformation or selection and will involve some type of gene preservation. Genetic profiles that have high yields will be able to be mass propagated, and the healthy plant growth and development in the initial culturing stages will lead to optimal returns.
  • Grand Naine tissue culture banana is a high market value, free from all diseases at the time of supply, throughout the year plantation possible, early maturity, and uniform growth of fruits.
  • The tissue culture method allows a plant to carry the exact genetic lineage of its mother plant. A well-managed tissue culture operation must have little to no crop variation, allowing genetic lineages to be preserved.
  • The tissue culture saplings tend to have a smoother transition into the field. This can be attributed to the healthy root systems they have developed through accelerated plant growth and nutrition intake.
  • Optimal crop yield is ensured following proper cultural practices. Shorter harvesting crop period (Earlier maturity of a crop) enables flexibility by planting season and marketing demand. Because of the shorter crop duration of crop, two successive ratoons are possible with the reduced cost of cultivation and increased crop profits.
  • Large quantities of healthy and uniform banana plants can be supplied at a time round the year.

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