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Fungus could drive bananas to extinction


Posted on Wednesday, 2 December, 2015 | Comment icon 10 comments

Most of the world's bananas are grown in Latin America. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Paasikivi
Researchers have warned that a deadly type of fungus could devastate banana crops around the world.
These days bananas can be found in just about every supermarket on the planet, but in the future there's a chance that the fruit that we know and love could end up almost completely disappearing.

The prime cause of this potential decline is Panama disease, a fungus which has been decimating banana crops in some parts of the world since the 1960s. While up until now it has been mostly contained in Southeast Asia, researchers have indicated that it may soon start jumping continents.

If this happens then it won't be long before it reaches Latin America - home to the vast majority of the world's banana crops - and there are no known ways of stopping it.


Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (10)

Tags: Banana, Fungus

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taun on 2 December, 2015, 16:20
How do you drive a banana?...
Comment icon #2 Posted by bubblykiss on 2 December, 2015, 16:22
Soon we will only have a collective racial memory of Auntie Thompson's horrific banana nut bread? alt: What will children use to pantomime monkeys now? alt: Finally the streets will be safe to walk for silent film actors of unborn generations. alt: So hung over college students will no longer experience the joy of lasagna, ramen and brown banana sandwiches? alt: Looks like it is time to take a victory lap for the Anthropocene Extinction Event
Comment icon #3 Posted by bubblykiss on 2 December, 2015, 16:23
How do you drive a banana?... With great pride and tremendous joy.
Comment icon #4 Posted by freetoroam on 2 December, 2015, 17:01
From here, the fungus messes with the plant’s vascular system, causing it to wilt rapidly and turn a horrible yellow-brown colour due to a lack of water. The plant will then die very quickly from dehydration. http://www.scienceal...n-to-extinction This is the style of banana they are selling in some supermarkets already...or you can buy the part green variety which never seems to ripen. Strange how the banana could be wiped out when at the same time they have the GM type which could save lives.....although not yet ready to buy. You could have to wait til 2020, plenty of time for the naturally ... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 2 December, 2015, 19:18
I have heard that in this case organic farming methods and soil amendments stop the fungus. If you put lots of organic matter into the soil and inoculated it with beneficial fungi, the disease causing fungus had a tough time competing. It's not unlike taking pro-biotics like live culture yoghurt while taking antibiotics to prevent bad bacteria from overrunning your gut once you stop the medication; the beneficial bacteria colonize your gut in such numbers it's hard for bad ones like C. dif. to gain a foothold. But organic farming is expensive and likely won't produce the supply for the demand.... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin on 2 December, 2015, 19:37
No!!!! Fruit is part of my life. How I do enjoy a basic cereal topped with sliced bananas, strawberries, blueberries, or a host of other real-fruit combinations. Then sprinkle on one's favorite nuts, add milk... Yummy! Haven't had myself a "banana split" for many years, since I was a teenager I suppose, but how delicious they are! And sometimes a banana, just by itself, "hit's the spot" For lover's of banana's, who doesn't like a good, moist chunk of banana bread. Yummmmm......... Or banana cream pie! Oh god, I just managed to start craving bananas writing this. Must go to grocery store... bye... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by BeastieRunner on 2 December, 2015, 20:18
What .... nooooooo! I love a good banana.
Comment icon #8 Posted by AustinHinton on 3 December, 2015, 19:36
@bubblykiss: Its the sweetest (literally) ride you can get!
Comment icon #9 Posted by supervike on 3 December, 2015, 20:46
I remember reading about this a few years back.... It's a horrible thing, a world without bananas! I'm hoping science can save it, even with GASP SHOCK GMOs!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 3 December, 2015, 21:59
Ok, I've had it. I won't live in a world without bananas. It's just not possible.


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