Musa itinerans is a wild species of bananas first described by Ernest E. Cheesman from plants grown at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture's field collection in Trinidad. The seeds had been collected in an "evergreen forest at Tagwin, Myitkyina, Upper Burma" (Myanmar). Its name refers to its "travelling" habit, as a sucker can emerge two meters away or more from the mother plant.
Main morphological characteristics
The diagnostic character for this species is its long rhizome. Cheesman describes the pseudostem as 4 m or more in height and 20-25 cm in diameter at the base. The inflorescence is semi-pendulous and the peduncle is velvety. The inside of the bracts is yellow. The individual fruits are about 10 cm in length and 3 cm in diameter and relatively spread out on the bunch. They are not very curved.
Distribution and habitat
The genome of an individual collected on Hainan Island, China, was sequenced in 2016. The assembled genome size is 462.1 Mb, covering 75.2% of the 615.2Mb genome and containing 32,456 predicted protein-coding genes. The sequence is available from the Banana Genome Hub.
The chloroplast genome was also sequenced. The DNA came from leaves collected in China's Yunnan province. The complete chloroplast genome was found to be 168,985 bp long, to contain 113 unique genes, including 79 protein-coding genes, 30 transfer RNA genes, and four ribosomal RNA genes.