Melody Teh

News

Fri, 8 May, 2015

Bananas in danger of going extinct

Bananas in danger of going extinct

Bananas lovers, it seems your favourite fruit may be in danger of extinction. As Dan Koeppel of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World explains the world’s banana plantations are facing a deadly fungus that could put pressure on producers.

There are over 1,000 varieties of bananas but the most popular is the Cavendish banana, which is one of the most resilient varieties. However, the Cavendish is now in danger from the Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama Disease, a virulent fungus that has been affecting Cavendish bananas since it emerged in Malaysia in the late 1980s. It’s now spread throughout Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

So far no chemicals have been found to be effective against Panama Disease. Koeppel believes the answer is to grow more varieties of bananas, including a cross-bred, genetically modified banana for commercial production.

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