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Author Topic: Banana Could Be Entirely Wiped Out By Plague In Five Years  (Read 1205 times)

Banana Could Be Entirely Wiped Out By Plague In Five Years
« on: August 16, 2016, 10:22:49 PM »
Eat your bananas while you can!


https://sg.news.yahoo.com/banana-geddon-fruit-favourite-could-be-entirely-145411287.html

Banana-geddon! Fruit Favourite Could Be Entirely Wiped Out By Plague In Five Years
Andy Wells August 16, 2016

If you are a lover of bananas then you may want to stock up… as there might not be ANY left in five years.

The popular fruit is now under threat from a lethal mix of three diseases, known as the Sigatoka complex.

Already the disease has slashed the banana yield by a hefty 40% - and it may not end there, as it is evolving to be even more lethal.

More alarmingly (if you love your ‘nanas), the Cavendish variation of the fruit that is usually found in supermarkets is grown from cuttings, meaning they are all essentially clones from one plant.

Plant pathologist Ioannis Stergiopoulos explained: “We have demonstrated that two of the three most serious banana fungal diseases have become more virulent by increasing their ability to manipulate the banana’s metabolic path ways and make use of its nutrients.

“This parallel change in metabolism of the pathogen and the host plant has been overlooked until now and may represent a ‘molecular fingerprint’ of the adaptation process.

“The Cavendish banana plants all originated from one plant and so as clones, they all have the same genotype — and that is a recipe for disaster.

“It is really a wake-up call to the research community to look at similar mechanisms between pathogens and their plant hosts.”

And if you didn’t understand all that, it basically means more needs to be done if we ever want banoffee pie again.

Mr Stergiopoulous said that fungicide may have to be applied up to 50 times per year by farmers to save our bananas.

Re: Banana Could Be Entirely Wiped Out By Plague In Five Years
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 05:37:46 PM »
Quote
He also pointed out the image problem that bananas suffer from as they are readily available in the market. Consumers believe that banana supply can never cease to exist. However the truth is that in order to prevent the global banana industry from getting wiped out, farmers must make 50 fungicide applications annually.

“Thirty to 35 percent of banana production cost is in fungicide applications. Because many farmers can’t afford the fungicide, they grow bananas of lesser quality, which bring them less income,” Stergiopoulos added.

http://www.ibtimes.com.au/bananas-could-be-extinct-next-5-years-deadly-sigatoka-complex-shutting-down-immune-systems-bananas

This part of the story makes me think it is typical 'hyperbole for click-bait' news.  Seems the fungicide is already priced into the banana market.  This doesn't seem like a new problem. 


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Re: Banana Could Be Entirely Wiped Out By Plague In Five Years
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 08:07:47 AM »
It's not a new problem, and actually one strain of bananas has been wiped out completely already. I think it is hyperbole in the sense that all bananas will disappear. They are talking about the specific strain common in North America markets because that is the type of banana that is considered 'standard'. There are actually many other varieties, but they are not all that long, semi-curved yellow type that people often think of.
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Re: Banana Could Be Entirely Wiped Out By Plague In Five Years
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2016, 10:08:37 AM »
If we so value bananas, we can always keep a few plants in safe labs for a decade until that virus dies out due to lack of available hosts. Then make copies of the plants and plant them in selective new farms.