Banana Facing Extinction as Deadly Fungus Spreads
According to a study published recently in the journal PLOS Pathogens, the newer strain of the disease, known as Tropical Race 4, has been spreading like wildfire across Cavendish plantations around the world.
The Cavendish is considered the world’s most popular Banana.
Since 2013, however, Tropical Race 4 has reportedly spread to areas in several continents, including parts of South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia despite efforts to contain the disease.
Study co-author Gert Kema said “This research demonstrates that the quarantine measures and information provided around the globe apparently have not had the desired effect.
The researchers explained that the Cavendish is a monoculture, which means the plants are all clones of one another and have no genetic diversity and this is why they cannot sexually reproduce and evolve leaving them defenceless against the disease.
Bananas are critical for food security and income generation for more than 100 million people in Africa.