Acuminata genome

Acuminata genome at a glance
Basic chromosome number


Genome size

600 Mb

Predicted number of genes


Genome sequence

The acuminata genome, designated by the letter A in the nomenclature system used to classify edible bananas, is the genome of Musa acuminata, a species of wild bananas that has been involved in the domestication of the vast majority of edible bananas. It is also the first genome to be sequenced in the genus Musa. The sequenced genome was an haploid version of the subspecies malaccensis, DH Pahang. At the time of the release of the genome sequence, 91% of the genome had been sequenced and 92% of the predicted 36,542 genes had been positioned on the 11 chromosomes[1].

Genome size

The haploid genome size is 600 Mb[2]. It is larger than the genome of Musa balbisiana, which donated the B genome found in many edible bananas. The genome is larger than the genome of rice and Arabidopsis but smaller than the one of maize and wheat.

Genome composition

Plant genomes consists largely of repetitive DNA including include transposable elements, satellite DNAs, simple sequences and tandem repeats which represents approximately 30% of the A genome[3]. These genome features might be responsible for the variation in genome size observed in Musa species.

Comparison with B genome

Depending on the study, the A and B genomes have diverged 4.6[4] or 27.9 million years ago[5].

In 2013, a team of Belgian and Malaysian scientists sequenced the genome of a Musa balbisiana accession and used the acuminata reference sequence as a template onto which they aligned their fragments of balbisiana DNA. The resulting B genome was 79% the size of the A genome. The number of genes was predicted to be 36,638[6].


2. Bartos, J., Alkhimova, O., Dolezelova, M., De Langhe, E. and Dolezel, J. 2005. Nuclear genome size and genomic distribution of ribosomal DNA in Musa and Ensete (Musaceae): taxonomic implications. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 109(1-3):50-57.
3. Hribova, E., Neumann, P., Matsumoto, T., Roux, N., Macas, J. and Dolezel, J. 2010. Repetitive part of the banana (Musa acuminata) genome investigated by low-depth 454 sequencing. BMC Plant Biology 10:204.
5. Christelová, P., Valarik, M., Hribova, E., De Langhe, E. and Dolezel, J. 2011. A multi gene sequence-based phylogeny of the Musaceae (banana) family. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11(103).
6. Davey, M.W., Gudimella, R., Harikrishna, J.A., Sin, L.W., Khalid, N., Keulemans, J. 2013. A draft Musa balbisiana genome sequence for molecular genetics in polyploid, inter- and intra-specific Musa hybrids. BMC Genomics, 14(1):683.

Further reading

Heslop-Harrison, J.S., et Schwarzacher, T. 2007. Domestication, Genomics and the Future for Banana. Annals of Botany 100:1073-1084.
Grimm, D. 2008. A Bunch of Trouble. Science 322: 1046 -1047.
Roux, N., Baurens, F.C., Dolezel, J., Hribova, E., Heslop-Harrison, P., Town, C., Sasaki, T., Matsumoto, T., Aert, R., Remy, S., Souza, M. and Lagoda, P. 2008 . Genomics of banana and plantain (Musa spp.), Major staple crops in the tropics. p83-111. In: Moore, P.H. and Ming, R. (eds.). Genomics of tropical crop plants. Springer, New York, USA.
Dolezel, J. 2004. Cytogenetic and cytometric analysis of nuclear genome in Musa. p.245-249. In: Jain, S.M. and Swennen, R. (eds.). Proceedings of Proceedings from a meeting, Leuven (BEL), 2001/09/24-28. Banana improvement: cellular, molecular biology, and induced mutations. Science Publishers, Enfield (USA). FAO Corporate Document Repository 

Also on this website

First glimpse at the banana genome in News and analysis (11 July 2012).
A tale of two banana sequences in the ProMusa blog (7 November 2013).

The Global Musa Genomics Consortium