Bananas on the brink of extinction?

Bananas on the brink of extinction?
Postmedia News
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July 6, 2018
July 6, 2018 2:26 PM EDT
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Could a tropical disease spell the end of the world’s banana crops?
Scientists are racing to develop a hybrid banana plant that’s immune to a deadly disease that’s threatening the world’s supply of bananas.
The Panama disease, a fungal infection, is spreading throughout Africa and Asia, and scientists are worried that if it spreads to South America, it could wipe out the world’s banana crop.
Cavendish bananas, the breed that’s widely consumed in North America and Europe and produced in South America, are at an increased risk of the disease because genetically the plants are clones, which means the disease can spread rapidly from one plant to another.
The only way to halt the spread of the disease is by quarantining the infected farm as chemical treatment has proven to be ineffective, according the Daily Mail.
Scientists have found that a rare species of banana in an isolated island in Madagascar is immune to Panama disease. However, these wild bananas are inedible so they are working to create a palatable hybrid that would be resistant to the fungal infection.
“It is very important to conserve the wild banana because it has large seeds which can offer an opportunity to find a gene to improve the cultivated banana,” Helene Ralimanana, team manager at the Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, told the BBC.
This isn’t the first time that the Panama disease has threatened the world’s banana supply. In the 1950s, the disease wiped out a type of banana known as the Gros Michel.
Bananas are on the brink of EXTINCTION as devastating disease spreads across crops worldwide | Daily Mail Online
bill barilko
#2  Top Rated Post
Old bunk there's always some threat to Bananas and new cultivars are found.
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

bill barilko
I remember being in Fiji in the 90's when old Black Sigatoka was still an issue locals were almost proud of the international attention-well cab driver/tour guides were at least since Sigatoka isn't far from Nadi International airport.
Bar Sinister
That is a classic example of what happens when growers world-wide focus on a single species. Unfortunately, the modern world has a lot of crops like that.

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