Say goodbye to bananas as you know them…they’re going extinct
A new study has confirmed that bananas, the world’s favorite fruit, is in fact going extinct. The result, published in PLOS Pathogens, reveal that Tropical Race 4 (TR4) is a clone of Panama disease and that the quaratine efforts made to date have proven ineffective.
“We know that the origin of [Tropical Race 4] is in Indonesia and that it spread from there, most likely first into Taiwan and then into China and the rest of Southeast Asia,” Gert Kema, banana expert at Wageningen University and Research Center, who co-authored the study, told Quartz. Now the deadly fungus has spread to Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Mozambique, and Australia’s northeast Queensland.
While we do have some time before we’re totally without the tropical fruit, once the disease reaches the root of the plants, it’s basically game over. Quartz reports that Taiwan now only exports 2 percent of what it used to in the 1960s, when TR4 was first discovered. Like the Gros Michel banana before it, the Cavendish is prone to a fungal takedown. This threatens the $11 billion global banana trade—and our summertime banana splits.
ORIGINAL POST: July 28, 2015 at 6:26 p.m.
Bananas are in big trouble. While the beloved fruit remains as popular as ever, its crops across the world have been hit with an infectious fungus and the damage is irreparable.
The Cavendish species of banana, which was introduced in 1965, is currently the primary banana export in the world. And it’s being completely ruined by Tropical Race 4, a fungal disease that began in Malaysia in 1990 and has since spread to
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