Preliminary investigation of the effects of gibberellic acid (GA3) on sucker development in plantain (Musa cv. AAB) under field conditions

Rony Swennen, George F. Wilson, Edmond De Langhe


The delay of sword sucker development until after floral initiation and the apparent cessation of apical dominance in plantains is believed to be the major cause of poor ratoon development and, consequently, rapid yield decline in succeeding ratoons. Gibberellic acid (GA3) at concentrations of 10-2M, injected into peepers at two-day intervals for two, four and six weeks, stimulated sword sucker development before floral initiation after two weeks of treatment. Since treatment duration had no significant effect, it is suggested that sword sucker development is the response to GA flushes and that GA flushes affect only peepers that are physiologically sensitive to GA at the time of flush. Therefore, it is possible for dormant peepers and active sword suckers to be present on the same mother plant. The injected GA3 had no abnormal effect on the treated sucker or the mother plant.


Plantain: Gibberellic acid; Suckers

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