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Relationship between growth and yield components of different plantain varieties in humid areas of southern Nigeria

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  • Save Advances in Life Sciences 2014, 4(2): 37-43 DOI: 10.5923/j.als.20140402.01 The Relationship of Growth and Yield Components of Différent Plantain (Musa spp.) Cultivars in a Humid Area of Southern Nigeria Orluchukwu J. A.1,*, Ogburia M. N.2 1Department of Crop and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B. 5323, Port Harcourt, Nigeria 2Department of Crop and Soil Science, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, P.M.B. 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria Abstract The growth and yield characteristics of plantain cultivars through the introgression of diploid with triploid in a humid environment were investigated at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The aim of the trial was to determine the relationship between growth and yield performance of the hybrid generated through the crossing of male and female plantain cultivars. Plantain and banana improvement programs make use of interspecific hybridization for gene introgression. The triploid plantain landrace, Agbagba, Valery, unknown female plantain, Bluggoe, Calcutta4, French, km5 (Yangambi) and USTPx 02/01 were crossed with a wild diploid banana, Calcutta4, km5 (Yangambi), Unknown male plantain to generate good agronomic performance of plantain hybrid. The growth characteristics of the hybrid shows that cooking banana (Bluggoe) had the highest plant height of 2.5m followed by French plantain (2.48m) and Agbagba (2.41 m) while Valery (1.20m) and Calcutta4 (1.24m) had the least plant height. Unknown plantain had the highest (9.88) number of leaves while km5 (Yangambi) gave the least (6.04) number of leaves. They all showed a significant difference among themselves. Km5 (6.96) and Calcutta4 (5.12) had the highest number of suckers. The growth components show that plant height and number of leaves at flowering gave the best positive correlation followed by the sucker number at harvest. For the yield components, hand number and finger number correlated negatively with sucker number and bunch weight. The trial also shows that yield components correlated more within themselves than with growth parameters while growth parameters alone can predict yield up to 72%. Keywords Relationship, Growth, Yield, Plantain cultivars, Nigeria 1. Introduction Plantains and bananas (Musa spp.) are staple foods for rural and urban consumers in the humid tropics and an important source of rural income, particularly in some locations where smallholders produce them in compound or home gardens. World Musa production is around 85.5 million tonnes annually [1] of which bananas cultivated for the export trade account for only 10%. Hence, fruit harvested from bananas and plantains are important components of food security in the tropical world, and provide income to the farming community through local and international trade. Plantains and banana are easy to grow and production is relatively stable. In addition, the fruits are highly nutritious, containing large amounts of carbohydrates and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium as well as vitamins A and C. They provide more than 25% of the carbohydrates * Corresponding author: (Orluchukwu J. A.) Published online at Copyright © 2014 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved and 10% of the daily calorie intake for more than 70 million people in the continent [2]. The crop is an integral component of the farming systems in the humid forest and mid-altitude agro-ecological zones of Africa. The gross value of their annual production in sub-Saharan Africa exceeds that of several other food crops such as maize, rice, cassava and yam [3]. Africa produces 35% of Musa output worldwide, while Nigeria accounts for 5% of the world production [4]. In Nigeria, most plantain and banana are harvested from homestead or compound gardens where plants prosper in the organic matter rich soil, usually provided by kitchen refuse [2]. Most banana cultivars and all plantain landraces have 33 chromosomes (2n=3x). These triploid genotypes are virtually or completely sterile and develop their fruit by vegetative parthenocarpy. Diploid landraces and tetraploid cultivars (mostly artificial hybrids) are also cultivated. The evolution of Musa cultivars from their wild species (M. acuminata, Colla. and M. balbisiana, Colla.), and their dispersal from the Southeast Asian centre of origin to the new secondary centers of diversity, has been documented in detail [5]. For example, recurrent somatic mutations 38 Orluchukwu J. A. et al.: The Relationship of Growth and Yield Components of Différent Plantain (Musa spp.) Cultivars in a Humid Area of Southern Nigeria followed by human selection for their tasty fruit led to great phenotypic diversity amongst plantain landraces in the humid lowlands of West Africa, and amongst beer and cooking bananas in the highlands of East Africa. There are so many plantains and bananas varieties grown in different parts of the world. Genotypes are classified by the genome composition, that is, expression of M. acuminata and M. balbisiana characteristics. Banana improvement programs make use of interspecific hybridization for gene introgression. The Plantain and bananas are affected by a number of diseases and pests primarily black sigatoka caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis, fusarium wilt, nematodes, weevils and viruses. Cross breeding of bananas is essential to produce improved hybrids that would be resistant to the various pests and diseases. Crossing a triploid banana with diploid accessions generates diploid, triploid, tetraploid, aneuploid and hyperploid progeny [6]. Black sigatoka, a leaf spot disease caused by the fungus Mycosphaeralla fijiensis (Morelet), is generally considered to be the most serious constraint to plantain and banana production in sub-Sahara Africa. Once established, the pathogen causes severe leaf necrosis, reducing yields by 30-50%. Black sigatoka disease has become a major constraint to banana and plantain production worldwide resulting in yield losses of about 33 to 50% [7,8]. From the results of the crosses carried out, one was able to determine the performance of the hybrid produced through the growth and yield characteristics and their relationship. This was aimed at ascertaining the success of the crosses in relation to black sigatoka on the hybrid generated. 2. Materials and Methods The trial was conducted in the Teaching and Research Farm of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. The area has a landmass of 19420 sq.kms [9], and lies within tropical rainforest zone of Nigeria. The project site (UST Farm) is located on latitude 4.50 N and longitude 7.010E with an elevation of 1.8m above sea level [10]. The rainfall pattern is essentially bimodal with peaks in June and September, while in April and August there are periods of lower precipitation [11] and [12]. The long rainy season is between April and October. The dry season lasts from November to March with occasional interruption by sporadic down pours. Annual rainfall is average of 2000mm to 4500mm [13]. The mean monthly temperature ranges between 28℃ and 33℃ while the annual monthly minimum is between 20℃ and 23℃. The highest temperatures are experienced during the months of December through March and coincide with the overhead passage of sun [14]. A total land area measuring 42m x 50m (2100m2) was cleared and used for the experiment. The land area was cleared manually, marked and pegged. The design is of the pollination block, non-replicated type and the experimental materials are made up of eight (8) different Musa cultivars. But data emerged from the quantitative traits were arranged in a Complete Randomized Block Design (CRBD) and analyzed using appropriate computer software. The initial soil samples were collected and analyzed for soil pH, total Nitrogen, available Potassium and available Phosphorus. Different clones of suckers were collected from the Research and Teaching Farm at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. The clone varieties or cultivars used for the research are Valery, USTPx 02/01, Calcutta 4, Nkpolu Banana, Bluggoe, Km5 (Yangambi) and Plantain landrace. These parental clones were selected due to their relatively high female fertility [15,16]. However, diploid (2n=2x=22) male parent Km5 (AA) (xx) was used as a source of black sigatoka resistant (BSR) due to its high level of resistance to the disease [15, 17, 18]. Furthermore, Km5 possesses two complementary dominant genes for pathenocarpy [19] but is not expressed in edible fruit production. Again, it produces ample pollen that is 100% viable. The corm was carefully peeled with matchete after being uprooted. The pseudostem of the suckers was cut off a few centimeters (30cm) above the corm. The peeling was done outside the area of the experimental site. This was to avoid contamination of the new field with roots infested with nematodes or corms with stem borers. The prepared corms were left to dry for two (2) days (not in the sun) before planting. Average weight of suckers was 3-4kg and is predominantly late sword suckers according to Obiefuna and Ndubizu [20]. Planting was done in May 2010 at a spacing of 3m x 2m. Planting holes were prepared with a minimum size of 30cm x 30cm x 30cm [21]. The crop was planted in lines. A total of fourteen (14) lines were planted with twenty-five (25) stands per line. This gave a plant population of 350 stands per 2100m2 (0.21 ha). At maturity of the plant, i.e. +90 days after shooting [22], pollen grains of fleshly exposed male flowers were collected on daily basis within the morning hours of 7- 10am using ladders to reach the tall plants. Different crosses were carried out. At the end of the period, seeds were produced from some of the pollinated plants. The seeds produced were then planted in a plastic container with perforation at the base. The container was measured 20cm by 20cm by 20cm. The plastic containers were filled with top soil rich in organic manure up to 2/3 height. Before planting, the seeds were soaked in water, and some of the seeds floated. About 3 seeds planted per container. After one month of planting, seed germination was observed in the cultivars. Though, some of the seeds failed to germinate. The germinated seeds were transplanted to the field after two months. Holes were prepared about 30cm x 30cm x 30cm and filled with top soil. The seedlings were planted by “ball of earth” method as the plastic containers were carefully removed, and seedling placed firmly inside the holes. Advances in Life Sciences 2014, 4(2): 37-43 39 Planting was 2m x 3m apart. Maintenance practices were carried out during the growing period. Data on growth parameters were measured and recorded on plant height at flowering, number of leaves at flowering, number of leaves at harvest, number of suckers at harvest, Girth at 30cm. Measurement of yield at harvest was on length of fingers, number of hands, number of fingers and bunch weight, circumference of fingers. These effects were statistically assessed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) modes as recommended by Steel and Torrie [23]. 3. Results number of leaves than Bluggoe (2.08), French (3.36), and km5 (2.28) and these were also more than Valery (1.84) which was the least in terms of number of leaves at harvesting time. The same table also shows that km5 significantly produced the highest number of suckers (6.96) followed by Calcutta 4. The least sucker producer was Agbagba (3.04) which did not significantly differ from other cultivars. The results of girth of cultivars at 30cm above soil level shows a significant different (P<0.05) among the cultivars. Unknown cultivar had the highest girth with mean value of 39.22cm and Bluggoe had 38.24cm. They are significantly higher than all the other cultivars. Growth characteristics The average values for all the growth characters showed significant variations among the plantain cultivars as shown in Table 1. The plant heights at flowering for the cultivars, Agbagba, Bluggoe and French were significantly (P<0. 05) taller than USTP 02/01, Calcutta 4, km5 and unknown plantain. The shortest at flowering was Valery (1.20m). The number of leaves of the cultivars at flowering varied significantly (p<0.05). The unknown plantain produced the highest number of leaves (9.88) although not significantly different from other triploids Agbagba, Bluggoe, USTPX 02/01, French and Valery. Km5 had the least number (6.04) of leaves at flowering. On number of leaves at harvest, there was significant difference (P<0.05) among the cultivars. The unknown plantain (4.64) had the highest number of leaves than other cultivars. Also Calcutta4 (3.16), USTPx 02/01 (3.10) and Agbagba (3.00) had significantly (P<0.05) more Yield Characteristics Table 2 shows the results of yield components on each cultivar (length of first fingers, length of middle fingers, length of last lingers, number of hands per bunch, number of fingers per hunch, and average weight of bunch). It revealed statistically significant differences (P<0.05) between the cultivars. The length of first fingers showed that Agbagba (20.02cm) and French (18.64cm) were significantly longer than the rest of the cultivars. The second significantly longer (P<0.05) first fingers came from Bluggoe (14.66cm) cultivar over others. The length of middle fingers almost followed the same trend with the first and last fingers. Agbagba had the longest middle finger (21.52cm) followed by Bluggoe (6.72cm) and French (1 6.05) and Valery (9.77cm) which were significantly longer than km5 (7.52cm) and USTPx 02/01 (3.48cm), respectively. The shortest middle fingers are recorded in Calcutta 4 cultivar which was only 3.29cm long. Table 1. Growth characteristics of male and female cultivars No. of Mats 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 Cultivars Unknown plaintain Agbagba Bluggoe French USTPx02/01 Calcutta4 Km5 Valery Plant height at flowering 1.69±12ab 2.41±0.31a 2.5±0.38a 2.48±0.38a 1.63±0.15b 1.24±0.15b 1.63±0.25b 1.20±0.16c No. leaves at flowering 9.88±0.78a 9.40±0.91a 9.52±0.82a 9.60±0.82a 9.76±0.88a 9.46±0.92b 6.04±0.79b 9.58±0.87a No. of leaves at harvest 4.64±1.18a 3.00±0.82bc 2.08±0.81c 2.36±1.7bc 3.40±1.58b 3.16±1.8b 2.28±1.57c 1.84±0.75d No. of suckers at harvest 4.96±1.17b 3.04±0.87b 5.0±1.98b 4.6±1.26b 4.68±1.31b 5.12±1.01b 6.69±1.97a 5.04±0.03b Girth at 30cm 38.22±4.41a 35.60±2.35bc 38.24±2.5a 36.24±3.14ab 35.98±2.71bc 35.0±1.61bc 32.72±1.86d 32.28±1.61d Mean ± standard deviation in the same column with different superscript differs significantly (P<0.05) Table 2. Yield characteristics of both male and female cultivars No. of Mats 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 Cultivars Unknown plantain Agbagba Bluggoe French USTPx02/01 Calcutta4 Km5 Valery Length of First Finger 12.63±2.66abc 20.02±3.05a 14.66±2.02ab 18.64±2.04a 5.19±0.90c 4.60±0.91d 8.53±0.90bc 9.06±1.31bc Length of Middle Finger 7.02±0.65c 21.52±2.70a 16.72±0.75a 16.05±1.61b 3.48±0.55c 3.29±0.52d 7.52±0.99c 9.77±1.046b Length of Last Finger 11.34±0.99b 15.04±2.81a 11.55±1.64ab 14.23±1.64a 3.24±0.36d 3.24±0.60d 4.85±1.39cd 7.66±1.27bc No. of Hands per Bunch 5.80±0.64abc 5.96±1.14ab 6.00±0.86ab 6.16±0.90ab 4.96±0.73c 5.24±1.16c 5.36±1.04bc 6.53±0.96a No. of Fingers Per Bunch 64.53±11.15a 33.88±7.04d 44.48±10.0cd 41.56±8.88d 51.12±14.71bc 56.52±5.47abc 61.08±15.11ab 68.36±22.28a Mean ± standard deviation in the same row with different superscript differs significantly (P<0.05) Weight of Bunch (kg) 2.68±0.45d 4.33±1.23c 5.94±1.27a 4.73±1.01b 0.53±0.23e 0.30±0.06f 3.45±0.91d 3.73±0.79d 40 Orluchukwu J. A. et al.: The Relationship of Growth and Yield Components of Différent Plantain (Musa spp.) Cultivars in a Humid Area of Southern Nigeria The length of the last finger was also affected significantly amongst the cultivars. Agbagba and French had the highest length of last fingers amongst other cultivars and their values arc 15.04cm and 14.23cm respectively. Seconded by Bluggoe banana and unknown plantain with the length of 11.55cm and 11.34cm, respectively, others are Valery and km5 with the length of 7.66cm and 4.85cm respectively, and these are also significantly higher than the least with shortest last fingers, being USTPx 02/01 (3.48cm) and Calcutta 4 (3.29cm). The number of hands of cultivars per bunch differ significantly (P<0.05). The cultivars (unknown plantain, Agbagba, Bluggoe, French and Valery) were not significantly different (P> 0.05) amongst themselves but differ significantly over other cultivars (USTP 02/01, Calcutta 4, and km5). They have more number of hands per bunch than cultivars USTPx02/01(4.96cm), Calcutta 4 (5.24cm) and km5 (5.36cm) which has the lowest number. The number of fingers per bunch were also affected significantly (P<0.05) among the cultivars. The cultivars with the highest number of fingers per bunch were Valery and unknown plantain with the mean value of 68.36 and 64.52 respectively. Others with similar statistical difference in terms of number of fingers per bunch are km5, Calcutta 4 and USTPx 02/01. And these (cultivars) are significantly different from French, Bluggoe and Agbagba which had the least number of fingers per bunch. The weight of bunch are significantly different (P<0.05) amongst the cultivars. Bluggoe plantain had the highest weight of (5.94kg), followed by French plantain with mean weight of (4.73kg). Agbagba has a bunch weight of (4.33kg). Other cultivars, Valery (3.73kg) km5 (3.45kg) and unknown plantain (2.68kg) were also significantly (P<0.05) higher than USTP 02/0 1 (0.53kg) and Calcutta 4 (0.30kg) which had the least weight of bunch. 4. Discussion Growth characteristics The results show that the plant heights varied significantly according to cultivars as Agbagba, French and Bluggoe had the highest heights. Since, cell size increases with increase in ploidy, triploids have longer stems and are more robust than the diploids [24]. Unknown plantain, Agbagba, Bluggoe and French are triploids and are higher than Calcutta 4 and km5 which are diploids. Valery is exceptional, though, a triploid (AAA) genome, it is a mutant with short stature (dwarf) [25]. In a related study by Vulysteke, et al., [6] where in height of 14 improved tropical Musa plantains hybrid with black Sigatoka resistant, they observed that plant height of the TMPx varied from 2.25 to 3.l0m and Bluggoe ranked the highest followed by the French and Agbagba cultivars. There was a significant difference among the cultivars in the number of standing leaves at flowering; this is due to wind and varietal differences. Triploids which are bigger in size generally produced more leaves than diploids [21]. According to Green [26], wind at speed of about 30m/s, destroys the plantation while at lower speeds tear leaf laminae although there was no direct relationship between this and yield. It was observed that cultivars with highest number of leaves at flowering, large trunk size and big bunch weight also retain more number of standing leaves at harvest. This is in accordance with Swennen’s [21] observation. Number of standing leaves at harvest also depends on the soil type, season (more in rainy season) and responds to sigatoka disease. Swennen [21] also states that highly susceptible bearing plants are left with hardly any green leaf at maturity. In addition, period of harvest is also another important factor since the leaves of mature plants dry with time. Swennen [21] stated that unlike most other bananas, plantains suckers develop very slowly which is why bananas like Calcutta 4 and km5 produced the largest number of suckers (5.12 and 6.96 respectively). According to Stover and Simmonds [24] cultivars to which Musa balbisiana, has made a considerable contribution tend to have rightly clumped stools from which the pseudostems are widely divergent, thus giving an inverted corm shape to the whole mat. This probably led Irizarry [27] to conclude that a banana stump contains up to 30 potential buds which do not develop owing to competition and unfavorable environmental conditions. The Bluggoe gave the tallest height and also had the biggest girth. This showed that this triploid banana according to Stover and Simmonds [24] is a vigorous growing and robust cultivar with greenish pseudostem that tends to lean out from the centre of the mat. The Unknown plantain although not significantly different from Bluggoe had a rather stout stem. Yield characteristics The results of yield components on the cultivars show that Valery had the highest number of hands per bunch. Valery being a banana is known for their large number of hands and bunch size which could double that of plantains [28]. Although Valery produces a large number of hands, almost half of the hands fruits are not marketable even as concluded by Irizarry [27] that in Puerto rico, Valery bananas produce average of 6 hands with only about 35 marketable fruits. French cultivar gave the second largest number of hands per bunch. According to Swennen [21], French plantains produce many hands with smaller fingers while Agbagba cultivars produce fewer hands with large fingers. The diploid cultivars (Calcutta 4 and km5) had small number of hands and also bunch size owing to their ploidy number which is why they are mainly used for introgression disease resistance in banana breeding [28]. The banana cultivar, Valery also had the highest number of fingers per bunch, this is because it has more number of hands, hence contains more number of fingers. Most commercial banana cultivars not only have greater number of hands than plantain but also have more uniform and well arranged Fruits [29]. Other banana cultivars, Calcutta 4 and Advances in Life Sciences 2014, 4(2): 37-43 41 km5 also followed the same pattern. Although the Bluggoe had a good number of hands per bunch (6), being a banana, its relatively low number of fingers per bunch was due to its angular shaped fruits which hinder compact fruits arrangement [30]. The French plantain had a higher number of fingers than Agbagba, owing to the latter’s big sized fruits — unlike French plantain fruits that are numerous but smaller in size. Turner [31] reported that plantains are moderately vigorous while banana a sub—clones differ mainly in the number of hands and size of fruits with the French type producing numerous hands with smaller fingers and the horn types producing fewer hands with large fingers. Accordingly, Agbagba a false horn plantain produced the fruits with the longest first finger (20cm) followed by a French type plantain (18.64cm), while triploid bananas produce heavy bunches with numerous fingers, their lengths are relatively smaller than that of the plantains [32]. The Calcutta 4 had the least length of first finger owing to the small and curved nature of its fruits. Since the length of plantain fingers vary gradually from the bunch basal to distal end, the plantain cultivars also gave the highest length of mid finger. Agbagba was the longest followed by French and Bluggoe. Similarly, the plantain cultivars also gave the highest last finger length with Agbagba and French cultivars leading. The heaviest bunch weight came from Bluggoe (5.94kg). Tetraploid and triploid bananas are known for their high yields [33]. Bluggoe has an angular very thick fruit with a large pulp to peel ratio. In experimental field at Onne, Vulysteke, et al., [6] stated that Bluggoe can yield up to 17kg per bunch and the big fruits can weigh up to 200g each. The next top yielder was French plantain (4.73kg) cultivar which can produce 9-12 hands with 150 — 200 fingers on fertile forest soils [21]. French plantain increase in hand weight. This is associated with more fingers per hand and pulp/peel ratio of 1:4 [34]. So the French cultivar outweighed Agbagba cultivar which ranked third as a result of the numerous fingers it produces per bunch. Agbagba is a medium false horn plantain that is widely spread and cultivated within the tropics. Its high yield is due to its few but large size fingers with pulp/peel ratio of 1:7 [34]. The Valery cultivar, although produced the highest number of hands per bunch ranked 4th in bunch weight. This is due to the size of its fruits which tend to decrease progressively from the basal to the distal end [35]. Correlation of growth and yield parameters The correlation was performed on both growth and yield parameters for the tested cultivars. On the growth parameters both plant height and number of leaves at flowering gave the best positive correlation followed by sucker number at harvest for the yield parameters, hand number and finger number correlated negatively with sucker number and bunch weight. Although yield components, correlated more within themselves than with growth parameters. Yield prediction using regression analysis revealed that in the multiple linear regression analysis presented in Table 3 under model I, the coefficient (r2) observed has 72%. This showed that growth parameters alone can predict yield of about 72%. Table 3. The summary of model 1 and 11 regression results Model I II R 0.719a 0.877b R 0.517 0.77 Adjusted R square 0.507 0.76 STD Error Estimate 1.429 1.006 But in model II where both growth and yield components were used as “X” independent variable against bunch weight “Y” the dependent variable, the degree of association (r2) was observed to be 87.7%. This was a clear indication that although yield could be predicted from growth parameters, a better prediction result could be gotten by using both growth and yield component. Based on model I Table 4, four individual variables regressed against bunch weight showed significance at various levels of (0.05, 0.01 and 0.001). This is an indication that they are good predictors of bunch yield. The variables were plant height at flowering (0.0001xxx), the number of leaves at harvest (0.0005xxx) and the number of sucker at harvest (0.007 XXX). Unlike other growth parameters that were significant in model I Table 4, plant height at flowering was not consistent as a good predictor of yield since it showed no significant value in model II, Table 4. Table 4. Regression analysis variables for models 1 and 11 Model I Constant Plant height at flowering Leaves at flowering Leaves at harvest Suckers at harvest Model II Constant Plant height at flowering Leaves at flowering Leaves at harvest Sucker at harvest Hands per Bunch Fingers per bunch Length at 1st finger Length at mid finger Length at last finger Girth at 30cm Circumference of first finger Circumference of mid finger Circumference of last finger b 3.4855 2.322 -0.355 -0.271 -0.174 -0.298 0.2155 -0.194 -0.221 0.1212 0.0076 0.0036 -0.0511 0.1433 0.00022 0.028 0.128 0.136 0.184 Significant <0.0001xxx <0.0001xxx <0.0001xxx 0.0005xxx 0.007xx 0.78Ns 0.320Ns 0.0006xxx 0.0004xxx 0.02x 0.91Ns 0.051Ns 0.10Ns <0.0001xxx 0.01xx 0.273Ns 0.06Ns 0.08Ns 0.024x X = Significance at P< 0.05 XX =Significance atP< 0.01 XXX = Significance at P< 0.001 Plant leaves at flowering (0.006 xxx), plant leaves at harvest (0.0004 xxx) and number of suckers at harvest (0.02 x) were better predictors of yield since they were consistently significant. Plant height as a growth component was only 42 Orluchukwu J. A. et al.: The Relationship of Growth and Yield Components of Différent Plantain (Musa spp.) Cultivars in a Humid Area of Southern Nigeria significant in model I regression where growth parameters were regressed against bunch weight. Higher plant heights and bunch weights of the triploids and tetraploids are attributed to their enlarged cell sized caused by increased chromosomal numbers [24]. The only exception was in dwarf mutants like Valery. Leaf number at flowering and subsequently leaf number at harvest were consistent as good predictors of yield being significant in model I and II since Musa genotypes are determinant, several leaves at flowering may mean larger surface areas for photosynthesis and thus assimilate more for fruit bulking [36]. The number of suckers at harvest was also a good predictor of yield being significant in both models regression. Genetically, bananas produce more suckers than plantains but regulated suckering is a highly desirable trait for perennial plantain production [6]. Since there was a significant sucker production (sink), increased number of leaves will definitely increase sucker production [36]. Yield parameters like number of hands per bunch, number of fingers per bunch, length of first finger and circumference of mid finger showed no significance and so are not good predictors for bunch weight. This is so because Musa cultivars acquire high bunch weight by either possessing large number of small fingers or small numbers of large fingers [32]. But the length of mid finger, (0.0001XXX) length of last finger (0.01xx) and circumference of last fingers (0.024 xx) were all positively significant at the respective levels and so are good predictors of bunch yield. Based on model I results, growth parameters like plant height at flowering, leaves at flowering, leaves at harvest and number of suckers at harvest can predict yield up to 72% while combined growth and yield parameters as shown in model II regression can predict yield up to 88%. Better yield prediction can be gotten by considering the parents growth and yield qualities. The research trial carried out on the growth and yield relationship of plantain varieties showed that plant height and number of leaves at flowering gave the best positive correlation followed by the sucker number at harvest. For the yield parameters, hand number and finger number correlated negatively with sucker number and bunch weight. Yield components correlated more within themselves than with growth parameters. Yield prediction using regression analysis revealed that in the multiple linear regression analysis presented the coefficient 2 observed has 72%. 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