Ecology and morphological traits of an ancient Musa acuminata cultivar from a mountain oasis of Oman

  • Authors : Buerkert, A.; De Langhe, E.A.L.; Al Khanjari, S.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2009

  • Journal title : Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

  • Volume (number) : 56 (5)

  • Pages : 609-614

  • Peer-reviewed : Yes

  • ISSN : 1573-5109

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : Recent reports have shown a surprising diversity of agricultural crops in Omani oases which was attributed to the country's traditional role at the crossroads of cultures and trade between the Middle East and Asia. Recent surveys have indicated a relatively small diversity of banana (Musa spp.) germplasm, which was thought to reflect the prevailing hyper-arid conditions of Oman where this drought sensitive species can only be cultivated in well watered oases in the North or in Dhofar, the monsoon dominated south eastern tip of the Sultanate. Surveys near Umq Bi'r, a half-abandoned oasis in the hardly accessible spring area of Wadi Tiwi, famous with Arabic sailors for its abundant fresh water resources, led to the discovery of a so far undescribed triploid Musa acuminata cultivar surviving in a limestone rock niche. Its morphological traits are different from any of the currently grown banana cultivars. Since acuminata bananas are quite sensitive to drought spells, characteristic for the Arabian Peninsula, the occurrence of this specimen provides further evidence for Oman's role as a refuge of relict crops imported from a more humid region such as coastal East Africa and nearby islands, or Indonesia. (Author's abstract).


  • Open access : No

  • Document on publisher's site : close View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN090554

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