Use of Palm Male Inflorescence and River-Sand as Acclimatization Substrate for Plantain (Musa sp.) Cultivars
The objective of this work was to investigate the use of Palm Male Inflorescence (PMI) and river-sand as substrate for the acclimatization of plantain. Plantlets from three plantain cultivars (Batard, Ebanga and French Clair) were obtained after 16 weeks of tissue cultures and the plantlets were subjected to routine acclimatization under screen house conditions using two different substrates mixed in different ratios (100% Sand, 100% PMI, 75% PMI, 60% PMI and 50% PMI). The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design with ten (10) replications; each replicate consisting of one micro-pot. The different substrates used significantly influenced the performance of the cultivars. The best medium for acclimatization for French Clair was 60% PMI in terms of percentage survival of plantlets (96.88%), plantlet height (6.03 cm), diameter (0.60 cm), number of leaves (4.42 leaves), leaf area (20.23 cm2), leaf emergence rate (1.64), number of roots (7.70 roots), and root length (18.86 cm). Ebanga plantlets had the best results with 75% PMI in terms of percentage survival of plantlets (96.88%), plantlet height (6.18 cm), diameter (0.62 cm), number of leaves (4.39 leaves), leaf area (20.48 cm2), leaf emergence rate (1.76), and total fresh weight (10.05 g). Meanwhile with Batard cultivar, 50% PMI was the best substrate in terms of percentage survival of plantlets (96.88%), plantlet height (4.41 cm), diameter (0.55 cm), number of leaves (4.55 leaves), leaf area (12.96 cm2), leaf emergence rate (1.55), and number of roots (5.73 roots). The relationship between the different variables assessed shows that plant height have a very strong positive correlation with pseudostem diameter (0.94), number of leaves (0.80), leaf area (0.98), and leaf emergence rate (0.77). This study clearly show that PMI can be a viable substrate to use with sand in plantlet acclimatization; however, the different plant cultivars had optimal result at different proportions of PMI.
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