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Aims: This field experiment was conducted to determine if hand and open pollination methods affected performances of Musa progenies from 4x - 2x crosses and to identify promising progenies for recurrent selection.
Study Design: The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with two replications of 6 plants per genotype.
Place and Duration of Study: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) High Rainfall Station, Onne (4º51’N, 7º03’E, 10 m above sea level), in Rivers State, South-south Nigeria for 24 months.
Methodology: Two-month old seedlings of hand pollinated (6 diploid, 6 tetraploid) and open pollinated (6 diploid, 6 tetraploid) progenies, along with parental clones (2x) and (4x) of each genotype were planted at 3 m x 2 m spacing. Data on phenology, vegetative growth, yield and yield characters were collected at flowering and harvest over three crop cycles. Genotypes were partitioned into 5 clusters assayed by means of orthogonal contrasts to compare the performance of progenies from both pollination methods.
Results: Pollination methods produced no significant (P = .05) differences, unfavourable effects or reduction in performance of economically important yield and yield components of 4x and 2x progenies of similar genotype. Some significant (P = .05) linear correlations and relationships between phenological and vegetative traits; and yield and yield components changed with pollination methods and ploidy levels but did not affect final outcomes. Promising open pollinated diploids include the early maturing TMP2x 2829-62OP; and for high yield and yield components measured, TMB2x 8084-2OP and TMP2x 1448-1OP. Promising open pollinated tetraploids include TMP4x 7002-1OP and TMP4x 2796-5OP.
Conclusion: Open pollination did not result in unfavorable effects or reduction in performance of economically important yield and yield components in progenies of similar genotypes. Therefore, open pollination could be considered for Musa breeding. This will reduce cost, labour, time and stress involved in Musa improvement.
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