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Musapedia

The banana knowledge compendium


As a crop whose origin goes back to the early days of agriculture, the banana[1] has been nurtured, studied and experimented on by countless farmers, scientists and banana enthusiasts. Musapedia is an effort to tap into that vast collective knowledge and to make sense of it through concise and clearly written texts that can be edited by anyone with information to share. Only registered users can edit or create Musapedia pages. To register.

To ensure that the information is reliable, experts will periodically be asked to review contents related to their field of expertise. It is only through a sustained effort of sharing information and critically examining contributions that Musapedia will become an up-to-date and trustworthy source of knowledge about bananas.

We welcome original contributions in French or Spanish (see how to create a page), as well as translations of the pages in English. The drop-down menu in the upper right corner lists the languages in which a given page is available. If your target language is not listed, select Translate and follow the instructions. Only registered users can translate pages. If you encounter problems, contact the Musapedia manager at musapedia@promusa.org.

Banana cultivar checklist

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The banana cultivar checklist is a working list of documented cultivar names. The main goal of the checklist is to arrive at an internally coherent list of names indicating which ones are synonyms (different names that refer to the same cultivar) and homonyms (similar names that refer to different cultivars). It currently contains close to 7,000 entries that can be browsed or searched using filters.
 
 

Morphology of the banana plant

Image The banana plant is a tree-like perennial herb. It is an herb because its aerial parts die down to the ground after the growing season and it is a perennial because an offshoot growing at the base of the plant, the sucker, replaces the mother plant. What looks like a trunk is in fact a a pseudostem made from tightly packed leaf sheaths.
 
 

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What is the scientific name of the banana?

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Tropical race 4

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Tropical race 4 (TR4) is the name given to the fungal strains of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) that cause Fusarium wilt (better known as Panama disease) in Cavendish cultivars. The term TR4 was coined to distinguish these strains from the ones that cause the disease in the presence of predisposing factors, such as low temperatures, and have become known as subtropical race 4 (STR4).
 
 

Featured image

'Talasea’ is a diploid cooking banana that produces long and slender fruits whose peel is almost white with a reddish blush that fades with maturity. It was named after a district of West New Britain. In Melanesia, people who bring home new cultivars often name them after the place where they collected it or the name of the person who gave it to them. (Photo by Gabriel Sachter-Smith)

The creamy white slender fruits of 'Talasea’, one of the bananas featured in the In pictures on collecting bananas in Bougainville

1. The term banana refers to both the sweet types that are eaten raw and the starchy ones that are cooked. To find out more about the rationale.
 

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