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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Yield stability of East African highland cooking banana ‘Matooke’ hybrids

Madalla, Noel; Swennen, Rony; Brown, Allan F.; Massawe, Cornel; Shimwela, Mpoki; Mbongo, Daud; Kindimba, Grace; Kubiriba, Jerome; Tumuhimbise, Robooni; Okurut, Asher W.; Carpentier, Sebastien; Van den Bergh, Inge; Crichton, Rhiannon; Machida, Lewis; Weltzien, Eva; Ortiz Rios, Rodomiro Octavio


East African banana (Musa sp.) breeding efforts have focused mainly on enhancing ‘Matooke’ productivity through the development of high-yielding, pathogen-resistant cultivars with adequate stability to contribute to regional food security. Before a breeding program can recommend promising cultivars for release, they must pass the sensory screens; be evaluated in the target population environments; and the data analyzed for yield, adaptability, and stability. Twenty-four primary and secondary triploid hybrids [NARITA (N)] derived from ‘Matooke’ bananas, six triploid local ‘Matooke’ cultivars, and one exotic cultivar were evaluated for their yield, adaptability, and stability across the East African region at three highland sites in Uganda’s western and central regions, as well as at three sites in Tanzania’s northeastern and southern highlands regions, from 2016–19. A randomized complete block design with four replicates was used for multisite trials. The mixed-model restricted maximum likelihood/best linear unbiased prediction approach, along with additive main effect multiplicative interaction model biplots, were used to dissect and visualize genotype-byenvironment patterns. Following the likelihood ratio test, both genotype and interaction effects were highly significant, confirming the influence of genotype and site heterogeneity for selecting specific and broadly adapted cultivars. N23 had the greatest yield across all sites associated with adaptability and stability, outperforming the overall mean yield of all genotypes by 34.2%. In Tanzania, N27 (second), N7 (third), N18 (fourth), N4 (fifth), N12 (sixth), and N13 (seventh); and in Uganda, N17 (second), N18 (third), N2 (fourth), N8 (fifth), N13 (sixth), N12 (seventh), N4 (eighth), and N24 (ninth) demonstrated good adaptability and stability, as well as high yield. Furthermore, the fungal pathogen Pseudocercospora fijiensis had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on yield, stability, and adaptability of the hybrids. As a result, they can be introduced into areas where black leaf streak constrains banana production significantly and threatens farmers’ livelihoods. The average site yield potential ranged from 9.7 to 24.3 t⋅ha–1 per year. The best discriminating sites for testing breeding clones were Lyamungo in Tanzania and Sendusu in Uganda. Hence, these testing sites are recommended as ideal examples of locations for selecting superior genotypes. 


AMMI biplot; genotype × environment interaction; high-yielding cultivars; Musa sp.; Pseudocercospora fijiensis; selection and testing sites; yield potential

Published in

Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
2022, volume: 147, number: 6, pages: 334–348

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Swennen, Rony
University of Leuven (KU Leuven)
Brown, Allan F.
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture c/o Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology
Massawe, Cornel
Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute
Shimwela, Mpoki
Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute
Mbongo, Daud
Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute
Kindimba, Grace
Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute
Kubiriba, Jerome
National Agricultural Research Laboratories
Tumuhimbise, Robooni
National Agricultural Research Organization
Okurut, Asher W.
National Agricultural Research Laboratories
Carpentier, Sebastien
Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
Van den Bergh, Inge
Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
Crichton, Rhiannon
Bioversity International
Machida, Lewis
National Agricultural Research Laboratories
Weltzien, Eva
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Genetics and Breeding

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