Type: Chapter

The origin, domestication and dispersal of bananas

Author Hugo Volkaert

National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Thailand

Publication date:

04 October 2018

ID: 9781838793340

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The search for the origins of the edible bananas probably started soon after European explorers brought home stories about the wonderful fruit they had come across in Africa. Currently about 40 seeded species in the genus Musa have been recognised. This chapter describes the morphological and molecular evidence for the origins of bananas and the role of Musa balbisiana in the domestication and early cultivation of bananas. The chapter reviews the archaeological evidence for early banana cultivation before considering the dispersal of bananas into Oceania, Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Origins: morphological and molecular evidence
3 The role of Musa balbisiana
4 Domestication and early cultivation of bananas
5 Archaeological evidence for early banana cultivation
6 Dispersal of bananas into Oceania
7 Dispersal of bananas into Africa
8 Dispersal of bananas in South and Southeast Asia
9 Conclusion
10 Where to look for further information
11 References