Ginosar Tissue Culture Nurseries Ltd. has been a production and cultivation organization for bananas for dozens of years and includes plantations, nurseries and a laboratory for tissue culture plants. It markets its products in Israel and throughout the world. We also produce Mango, Avocado and Citrus plants. Kibbutz Ginosar (and its plantations) is located in the Jordan Valley at the northern-east part of Israel, near the Sea of Galilee, which contains 30% of Israel's water reserves. The subtropical climate of the Jordan Valley can be described as hot in the summer and moderate in the winter. The spring occurs between March till May, summer between June till August, autumn between Sept. till Nov. and winter between December until Feb. Day temperatures in the summer arrive many times to 40°C and drop to 22-24°C during the night. In the winter the temperatures fluctuate between 7-10°C during the night and 16-22°C in daytime. On 4-8 nights every year the night temp. in Ginosar Valley drops below 7°C but it rarely reaches 0°C. These climate conditions were found to be favorable for bananas and they allow Ginosar to keep producing fruit all year around. Ginosar does not have branches or daughter-companies around the world. We know there are companies using the name "Ginosar", trying to defraud their customers, so for quality plants you have to apply to Ginosar Tissue Culture Nurseries Ltd. Israel only. The banana is a herbaceous plant of the genus Musa which produce the commonly eaten fruit. They are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia and Australia.
Banana plants are cultivated primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent for the production of fiber and as ornamental plants. As the banana are mainly tall, upright and quite sturdy, they are often mistaken for trees, but actually the main or upright stem is called a pseudostem, literally meaning "fake stem". Each pseudostem would produce a bunch of yellow, green of even red bananas before dying and being replaced by another pseudostem. The banana fruit grows in hanging clusters with up to 20 fruit to a tier (called a hand) and 3 -20 tiers to a bunch. The total of the hanging clusters is known as a bunch, or commercially as a "banana stem" and can weight from 30-50 kg. The fruit (known as banana or finger) averages 125 g. and is a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. The bananas from a group of cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called 'plantain' and are generally used in cooking rather than eaten raw. Bananas may also be dried and eaten as a snack food. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour. The banana propagation is vegetative by shooter. Today these shooters are used for Tissue Culture propagation.
In this technique we isolate from the source plant a certain tissue segment which is typical to the species and the propagation system (in the banana case - the shooter). This tissue segment is cut and transferred from the outer environment, contaminated with diseases, pests and pathogens, into a sterile environment on artificial food media under controlled temperature, humidity and light conditions, providing all the required food, vitamins and hormones. The tissue segment grows, develops and goes under changes due to the medium ingredients and the environment conditions. The purpose is to get, from the original tissue segment, a large number of plantlets that will be ready to be planted in the field after a hardening and acclimization process, to the outer environment and another period in the nursery. From this original tissue segment we get during the propagation hundreds of plants.
The advantages of these plants are -
The advantages of these plants are - The plants from tissue culture have identical qualities as the mother plant. When leaving the lab. the tissue culture plants are clean from diseases, pests and pathogens. You can get a lot of plants simultaneously so it is possible to plant a big plantation and, as a result, a more efficient growing procedure. The absorption of tissue culture plants of proper quality in the field is almost 100%. You can propagate rare and demanded varieties of off-types with preferable qualities. Tissue culture plants are more uniform in their size and growing rate. Tissue culture technique allows performing research and development in the genetic field, making transformations and cloning under defined conditions. Today experiments are done to find or create banana varieties which are resistant to diseases. These trials are made in two directions: One, is to crossbreed with wild resistant varieties. In spite of the difficulties scientists succeeded to produce some resistant cooking banana varieties, hoping these varieties will help to save the main food origin of the tropical countries. The other direction, which might produce better results, is the genetic engineering, i.e. direct transferring of genes from diseases-resistant wild bananas into sweet bananas, which are more sensitive to diseases. One of the most important factors in propagating bananas from tissue culture is the quality of the mother plantation. A mature plantation, which proved itself in terms of its crop, fruit quality, health of suckers and being clean of bacteria and viruses is a guarantee to an elite propagation material for quality tissue culture plants. Ginosar banana plantations, which are the vegetal source of Ginosar Tissue Culture Nurseries, are the biggest and oldest banana plantations in Israel, which in the last 2 decades, show impressive agricultural results, both for Israel and world wide. The average crop in Ginosar's plantations is about 80 tons/hectare a year, while the average crop in all Israel is about 55 tons/hectar. These results are an outcome of a very comprehensive research, led along many year by Mr. Hanan Ben Shalom, the General Manager of Ginosar Tissue Culture Nurseries Ltd., who is a researcher and a national and international banana instructor. Ginosar spends large amounts on research and development, most of them on finding selected quality clones, testing them and commercialize them as elite clones. The multiplication material is taken only from banana fields of more than 8 years old, in which during the years a strict selection has been made: weak plants were destroyed, while the strong, good and unique once are multiplied and continue the plantation. The excellent mothers are chosen to be propagated in the lab under the following criteria:
1. Bunch size.
2. Bunch structure.
3. Finger length, diameter and weight.
4. Free of diseases and pests.
5. Tree structure and height.
6. Structure of the former sucker and its health.
Usually, out of a 200 hectare filed which contains about 5,000,000 mothers, we choose only the best 5,000 that will serve as the propagation material for Ginosar Tissue Culture ex-plants. It is important to mention that leaf diseases, viruses and fungus do not occur in Israel.
Varieties. We have large scale of varieties, such as the known ones: Grand Nain, Dwarf Cavendish and Williams (also known as Giant Cavendish), as well as off-types of the Williams, which showed, during long term observations, some distinct advantages. In addition we have some more sorted clones which were developed as off-types of the Grand Nain and the Williams varieties. These early-ripening off-types showed distinct qualities, which made us keep them and improve them. Following please find some data on the varieties we have: The Dwarf Cavendish, first known from China and widely cultivated, especially in the Canary Islands, East Africa and South Africa. Within subtropical regions, Dwarf Cavendish has generally been regarded as the banana cultivar most adapted to extremes of climate. In addition, it is short, making it more stable and management-friendly in subtropical windy conditions. The plant is 1.2-2.1 m tall, with broad leaves on short petioles. It is hardy and wind resistant. The fruit is medium size of good quality but thin-skinned and must be handled and shipped with care. This cultivar is easily recognized because the male bracts and flowers are not shed. The Williams cultivar, imported from Australia, was released in subtropical regions mainly to deal with the phenomenon of choke throat in cold winters. Taller cultivars are less susceptible to this problem and Williams is 30 to 40 % taller than Dwarf Cavendish. The bunch characteristics are distinctly superior to Dwarf Cavendish, as shown by more hands, longer fingers, less compaction of hands, cylindrical shape and a generally higher pack out of extra large fruit from each bunch. Although Williams is more difficult to manage than Dwarf and has a longer cycle time due to the larger leaf area cover, the bigger bunches and superior bunch morphology ensured that Williams outyielded Dwarf Cavendish. The Grand Nain is of uncertain origin, has replaced the Dwarf in Colombia, Australia, Martinique, in many Hawaiian plantations and to some extent in Ecuador. In the 1980's and early 1990's, the Cavendish cultivar Grand Nain, imported from Central America, was thoroughly compared with the standard cultivars, Williams and Dwarf Cavendish. In two separate long term trials, Grand Nain performed better than Williams. Although the two cultivars are similar in most aspects of pseudostem and leaf morphology, the cycle time of Grand Nain, in optimal growing conditions, is slightly shorter, bunches are slightly heavier and fingers slightly longer than Williams. These advantages all add up to a higher yield of extra large fruit per year with Grand Nain. In trials under optimal conditions in subtropical regions, Grand Nain outyielded Williams by 9.6 % over four crop cycles in one trial and by 7.2 % over three crop cycles in another trial. The plant reaches 2.7-4.9 m. The pseudostem is splashed with dark brown, the bunch is long and cylindrical and the bananas are larger than those of the Dwarf and not as delicate. Male bracts and flowers are shed.
Selected Clones originating from the Dwarf, the Williams and the Grand Nain - lower varieties (about 3 m. height in day of flowering), can be planted in high density, i.e. grow a lot of fruit-bearing plants per hectare (2000-2700) achieving higher yield accordingly - 75-90 tones per hectare. They are wind resistant. The average bunch weight of these clones is about 40 kg./bunch, the banana weights about 180-220 gr., banana diameter 14 cm. and about 24 cm. long. Number of hands per bunch is between 12-15 hands, depending on flowering date. Time between mother flowering and sucker flowering is about 6-9 months. Export. Ginosar Tissue Culture Nurseries Ltd. exports banana plants of all stages, mainly to India, Africa, Central and South America. Ginosar does not have branches or daughter-companies. We know there are companies in the world using the name "Ginosar", trying to defraud their customers, so for quality plants you have to apply to Ginosar Tissue Culture Nurseries Ltd. Israel only.
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