Seed germination of the wild banana Musa ornata (Musaceae)


Musa ornata is the only wild species representing the Musaceae family in Mexico. It has ornamental value and is an important phytogenetic resource. Nevertheless, their populations are threatened. To provide tools for its
conservation and management, we evaluated the effect of different treatments on seed germination in vitro. Fresh seeds and seeds that were stored for two or four months were used. Treatments were: exposure of endosperm, mechanical scarification, immersion in gibberellic acid, excised zygotic embryos and chemical scarification with sulphuric acid (H2SO4) for different immersion periods. Germination occurred only with excised zygotic
embryos or following chemical scarification. In the case of excised zygotic embryos, germination was ≥ 90% after 21 days, with significant seedling development in both fresh and stored seeds. Seed immersion in H2SO4
for five minutes resulted in 16% germination after 90 days. Plants obtained in vitro were cultivated ex vitro in a greenhouse. There was 100% survival. Factors affecting seed germination included fungal contamination, hardness and resistance of testa, and storage.

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