|'Saba' at a glance|
Ploidy level: 3x
Genome group: ABB
'Saba' is the name given in the Philippines to a cooking banana belonging to the Saba subgroup. Its classification at the genome group level has been disputed ever since it was suggested to be a triploid derived from crosses between Musa balbisiana only1. Whereas some molecular analyses seem to support a BBB genome group234, morphological traits characteristic of Musa acuminata, such as curly bracts, place it among the ABB. On the other hand, if backcrossing occured5, it is possible that backcrosses with M. balbisiana might have led to the substitution of M. acuminata genes by M. balbisiana ones, leaving only remnants of the original M. acuminata genome.
'Saba' is especially popular in the Philippines, where the male bud is also eaten as a vegetable.