Tissue Culture Propagation of Banana

20th Aug 2020

Tissue Culture Propagation of Banana

Bananas are a tropical fruit that is consumed by individuals in raw and cooked forms. It is believed to have originated in Southeastern Asia, in countries like India, Philippines, Malaysia, etc. The edible bananas are mostly the hybrid of two wild species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

The clonal propagation of horticulture important plants was initiated way before the clonal propagation of fruit crops. The tissue culture of banana propagation has gained popularity because of its several advantages over conventional methods which are discussed later in this article.

Tissue culture is a method of growing plants from the tissue or cells of the particular plant in a laboratory environment.

Different techniques are established to propagate bananas in a lab environment, including the shoot and meristem culture, callus culture, somatic embryogenesis, cell suspension, and protoplast cultures.

This article includes the step-by-step procedure of tissue culture of banana propagation and its advantages and disadvantages.

Method of Banana Propagation

1. Select a suitable sucker for the experiment and excise it to obtain 4 inches of inner pseudostem, exposing banana meristem. Check the plants for any diseases.

2. Wash the obtained pseudostem under running water.

3. Immerse the pseudostem in bleach containing 5.25 % NaOCl for 30-45 minutes.

Figure: A diagrammatic illustration of the banana shoot tip culture.


4. Drain the bleach and place the pseudostem in a different sterilized container.

5. Peel off the leaf sheath and trim the pseudostem to the size 1 x 1 mm with thin corm tissue.

6. Again, cut the shoot tip into quarters and transfer them into the culture medium.

7. Keep the cultures for the 16-hour photoperiod.

8. Keep an eye on the contamination of the cultures and observe the growth of the tissue.

9. Subculture the shoot tips when the growing shoot is almost 2 cm tall

10. Subculture the tissue (in the sterile conditions) in half strength of MS media supplemented with 5mg/L BAP and 100ml/L coconut water.

11. Repeat the procedure of subculturing for 5 cycles.

12. Count the number of grown shoots.

13. Separate individual shoots from the clusters and transfer them to a rooting medium.

14. Incubate the cultures for 3-4 weeks to form the root.

15. When you observe the cultured plants with broad, expanded leaves and well-grown roots, you can transfer the plantlets to the soil.

Figure: Image of different stages of banana tissue culture.

Source: Yau, Yuan-Yeu. (2017). Re: Different stages of Banana Tissue Culture?. Retrieved from:

Advantages of Tissue Culture Propagation of Banana

The tissue culture propagation of the banana cater many benefits to the cultivars, some of which are mentioned below:

  1. The plant can be exactly cloned like its mother plant without any variations.
  2. The plants grown from tissue culture method can be grown diseased free in large numbers and it can help farmers to get disease-free seedlings.
  3. It can be grown throughout the year. So, getting a sample of banana tissue will not be a problem for tissue culture practices.
  4. The uniform maturity of the banana fruits makes the harvesting process easy and reduces the labor cost.
  5. The unique feature of tissue culture propagation of bananas is the maturity of the crop earlier in the season.
  6. High profit because of the high benefit to cost ratio.
  7. 95 % to 98 % of the plant bear fruit bunches.

Preference Center

Disadvantages of Tissue Culture Propagation of Banana

The understanding of the disadvantages of banana propagation is as important as understanding its advantages to help you to make the right decision for your propagation. So, below are a few points on the disadvantages of banana tissue culture:

  1. The tissue culture experiment is expensive because of the costly equipment and reagents used in the experiments.
  2. The procedure is complex.
  3. The experiment or procedure of culturing is required to be performed by an expert or highly trained person.
  4. The genetic diversity and variability is reduced because of the genetic similarity of the crop.
  5. If a plant is susceptible to disease, all of the plants of this cloned stock will share this undesirable trait and be susceptible to that particular disease.
  6. Large-scale production of banana propagation is very expensive.
  7. The culturing procedure of the plant differs from species to species. So, to establish a culture of a new species, several experiments and trial and error methods will be required.
  8. Precautions are required to protect the culture from any kind of contamination, which takes a lot of effort.
  9. If any sample of the plant is infected, it will produce all infected progenies. So, a careful examination of the stock is required to avoid culturing the infected plants.

The tissue culture propagation of bananas is a popular tissue culture practice. It has the potential to help the framers to get disease-free seedlings and grow several plants by this method. However, the expensive procedure and risk of contamination always create a dilemma for the cultivators. So, the area opens a door of research opportunity for young scientists to develop techniques that can help to overcome the drawback of the methods.


  1. Swamy, R. D., Rao, N. K. S., & Chacko, E. K. (1983). Tissue-culture propagation of banana. Scientia Horticulturae, 18(3), 247–252. DOI:10.1016/0304-4238(83)90028-6.

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