|'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 is still disputed years after it was suggested to be a triploid of Musa balbisiana origin only1. Whereas some molecular analyses 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 with wild relatives was more common than previously thought5, 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.