It’s no secret that bananas are very popular around the world. This tropical fruit contains a lot of nutrients, vitamins and has a lot of benefits for the human system. Recently, a bad news shook the worldwide media. It looks like bananas are threatened by extinction and soon we might not be able to enjoy these amazing fruits.
According to recent findings, a deadly tropical disease is affecting the banana crops from all over the world. Experts have concluded that the phenomenon is caused by a fungus called the Panama disease. The infection started in Central America, but it has already spread throughout Africa, Asia, Middle East and Australia.
If the disease reaches South America, which is the world’s biggest supplier of bananas, we could be witnessing the extinction of one of the most commonly encountered and consumed species – the Cavendish banana. In the attempt of stopping the infection from spreading, scientists have applied chemical treatments, but these were inefficient and they only managed to quarantine many areas of farmland.
The disease can be stopped with the help of a rare banana
After many days of thorough searches, experts think that they might have found a solution. The salvation could come from a rare Madagascan tree. This amazing life form grows a wild species of banana which has proven to be immune to the Panama disease.
Now, biologists are trying to create a hybrid made out of the two banana species. They are hoping to create a new strain which won’t be affected by the infection. Until they’re able to have a final result, scientists are struggling to find alternative ways of protecting the humble yellow fruit.
Quarantine can help by limiting the fungus’ spread, but the method is not perfect. The banana-hybrid procedure might take a while, but experts say that it’s difficult to protect a rare resource like the Madagascan banana tree and still use it for scientific purpose. Since in the world there are only five more such trees, biologists need to be extremely careful.