Banana eating fungus could threaten America’s favorite fruit

National/World News
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DENVER — Imagine, if you will, a world without bananas.  No banana splits, not banana bread, a lot of unhappy monkeys.

You may have to.

According to a recent CNN health story, the yellow, seedless and most popular banana in the U.S. is the Cavendish banana. “They are all cloned, actually, so they’re genetically identical,” said Beth Dokolasa from Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers.

And that, according to growers, is the Cavendish banana’s Achilles heel. “Being genetically identical means if a pest comes in, such as a fungus, and it infects one plant it means it’s definitely going to spread to all the other plants,” Dokolasa said.

The Cavendish banana is under attack from a new strain of fungus, called Tropical Race 4, or TR4.

If TR4 makes it to Latin America, aka Bananaland, well, better find a new favorite fruit. “When one gets infected it’s very likely it will spread. And there’s possibly more chance it will spread because the soil isn’t healthy because of all the fungicide being sprayed.”

It’s a slippery slope.  Use more fungicide, risk spreading fungus. So far, it’s under control.

But if not, eat an apple.


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