There are little tiny specks in a banana that I’ve been told were residual banana seeds. The story I was told was that small seed bananas, and seedless sports were selected and propagated until now there are not seeded bananas. Is this true?
Also, this banana related question from 8-year-old son yesterday: Is it possible to return to seeded bananas by selective propagation? You see, we have banana plants, so he’s curious about them.
As I post this, my wife’s on the phone talking about someone else’s banana trees!
Most cultivated varieties of bananas are sterile because they are triploid, that is, they contain three sets of chromosomes instead of the two found in most sexually reproducing organisms. During production of gametes (ovules and pollen) the odd set of chromosomes segretates unevenly, resulting in sterility. Cultivated bananas are produced asexually from sucker shoots at the base of the plant.
Of course, you can’t “select” a fertile strain back from the triploid banana because they are sterile. However, there are some diploid strains of banana that are fertile.
[url=http://www.arc.agric.za/institutes/itsc/main/banana/origin.htm]This site provides a good overview of banana genetics.
This site provides a good overview of banana genetics.