Ten commercial cultivars of Musa representing five different types of genomic constitutions were studied for in vitro multiplication through meristem culture. In addition, the effects of various genomic constitutions at different ploidy levels on growth and meristem proliferation in long-term cultures were analysed statistically. Plantlets were readily obtained by culturing the excised meristems on MS semisolid medium supplemented with IAA, IBA and BAP at various concentrations. The regenerative potential of all cultivars of Musa, irrespective of their genomes, remained unaffected in long-term culture, even after 28-30 months. The genomic influence on both the nature and rate of proliferative growth was evident. Statistical analysis revealed that the rates of meristem proliferation between different cultivars of the same passage and between different passages of the same cultivar were significantly different. Those cultivars having only an A genome showed a low rate of meristem proliferation, while under the same culture conditions, cultivars having one or two B genomes in addition to the A exhibited a very high rate. © 1988 Springer-Verlag.