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List of banana cultivars

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**Classification and Naming of Cultivars:**
– Originally classified into 2 species by Linnaeus, now hybrids of Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.
– Seedless and propagated vegetatively.
– Abandonment of traditional Latin-based botanical names in 1955.
– Confusion in cultivar names, leading to the creation of lists of synonyms.
– Somaclones used for mutation induction and new cultivar production.

**Cultivar Diversity and Groups:**
– Estimated 300 to over 1000 cultivars of bananas and plantains.
– Existence of different cultivar groups like Plantain subgroup and Pacific plantains.
– Domestication in various regions leading to diverse names and synonyms.
– Cultivars mainly hybrids of Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

**Genome-Based Classification System:**
– Introduced by Cheesman, Simmonds, and Shepherd.
– Scored on 15 characters to determine genetic ancestry.
– Group names using a combination of letters A and B based on ploidy and ancestral species contributions.
– Group names may not always reflect the actual genome structure.

**Research and Resources on Banana Cultivars:**
– Various researchers and organizations compiling lists of cultivar names and synonyms.
– ProMusa’s checklist of banana cultivar names.
– Use of somaclones for mutation induction and new cultivar production.
– Identification of different cultivar groups and subgroups like Pacific plantains.

**Studies and Publications on Banana Cultivars:**
– Research papers exploring backcrossing in hybrid edible bananas, genetic variability, and R&D advancements.
– Genetic studies on nuclear DNA content, SRAP markers, and diversity in banana.
– Journal publications focusing on genetic variability and characterization of banana clones.
– Further reading materials like ‘The Biology of Musa L. (banana)’ by the Australian Government.

The following is a list of banana cultivars and the groups into which they are classified. Almost all modern cultivated varieties (cultivars) of edible bananas and plantains are hybrids and polyploids of two wild, seeded banana species, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Cultivated bananas are almost always seedless (parthenocarpic) and hence sterile, so they are propagated vegetatively (cloned). They are classified into groups according to a genome-based system introduced by Ernest Cheesman, Norman Simmonds, and Ken Shepherd, which indicates the degree of genetic inheritance from the two wild parents and the number of chromosomes (ploidy). Cultivars derived from Musa acuminata are more likely to be used as dessert bananas, while those derived from Musa balbisiana and hybrids of the two are usually plantains or cooking bananas.

Photo of four several large green, smaller red, very small yellow, and medium-sized yellow bananas
Left to right: plantains, Red, Latundan, and Cavendish bananas
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