Tissue Cultured Banana


Tissue Culture (TC) is a technology by which cells, tissues or organs are cultivated and multiplied in specially formulated nutrient media. Under the right conditions entire plants can be regenerated from single cells. TC is an appropriate technology for developing countries for the production of disease and pest free, high quality planting materials and a rapid multiplication of many uniform plants. This technology has been in use for many years but it is only recently that the demand has risen due to our quest for development, better livelihood and a cleaner environment.
TC bananas plantlets are prom this technique; from a tissue (corm) to whole plant which has the same genetic makeup as the mother plant. Therefore TC banana plantlets are disease and pest free, of high quality.

Banana varieties

In Kenya a wide range of banana varieties is grown which include:
Ripening- Grand naine, Giant Cavendish, Vallery, Williams hybrid, Chinese dwarf, Gold finger, Kisii sweet etc.
Cooking types- Kisii matoke, Uganda Green, N’gombe, Nusu N’gombe, Solio, Ishighame etc,
Dual purpose – Muraru, Fhia. .

Advantages of Tissue Culture Plantlets.

There are several—partly direct, and partly more indirect—advantages brought about by the use of banana in vitro plantlets in comparison to conventional sucker material. These advantages are:
  1. They are clean and healthy plantlets i.e. no diseases and no pests.
  2. They take a shorter time to mature (12 months from planting).
  3. Produce bigger bunches (60-120 kg).
  4. They produce uniform bunches.
  5. Bunches mature at the same time and hence are easy to market.
  6. Superior new banana germ plasm can be introduced and disseminated much faster.
  7. TC plantlets are cheaper and easier to propagate and transport.
  8. They have a higher survival rate in the field.
  9. They reduce the cost of controlling foliar diseases by 50%.
With these advantages the farmers and rural communities are able to earn more money and also have a constant source of income, have more food, create employment, and provide raw material for many Industrial food products like wine, flours, confectionaries and handcraft.

Growing banana fruit seedlings
  1. Spacing 2.5 x 2.5 or 3m by 3m.
  2. Depth of the hole 3 x 3ft.
  3. Put top soil aside when digging the hole.
  4. Mix top soil with manure and fertilizer as follows:
  5. 1 – 2 debes of manure per hole.
  6. About 200g of a compound fertilizer (N.P.K.) for farmers in Western Kenya and 100g DAP for other parts of the country.
  7. Return the mixture to the hole filling about 2ft.
  8. Cut the polythene sleeves carefully so that the seedling can be planted with the entire ball of the soil.
  9. Place the seedling at the centre of the planting hole.
  10. Cover the seedling at exactly the same depth as it was in the polythene sleeve leaving it about 6 inches below the soil surface.
  11. Top-dress with 100g of C.A.N fertilizer or urea every month beginning 3 months after planting.
  12. The C.A.N or Urea should be applied in a band 2ft. away from the plant and covered with the soil.