The effect of ascorbic acid (0, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 150 mgl-1) on blackening and sprouting of Musa spp genotypes was investigated using shoot tip culture. Ascorbic acid did not minimize blackening, but rather markedly reduced the sprouting of cultured shoot tip explants. Ascorbic acid, genotype and genotype x ascorbic acid interactions were significant for shoot tip blackening and spouting, though genotype was a substantial source of variation to blackening response. ‘TMBX 5295 -1’ (cooking banana hybrid) shoot tips exhibited maximum blackening response, while ‘Agbagba’ (false-horn plantain) shoot tips showed highest sprouting. An inverse / negative relationship (r = - 0.27., P < 0.001) was obtained between shoot tip blackening and sprouting. Data obtained suggest that supplementation of medium supplemented (MS) medium with ascorbic acid was not beneficial for shoot tip culture of Musa spp. Other techniques for effective minimization of explant blackening are proposed.
Key words: Ascorbic acid, blackening, sprouting, Musa spp (banana and plantain) shoot tip culture.
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