The Cavendish banana could be wiped out

August 14, 2005

The Cavendish, the version of the banana that tops most U.S. cereal bowls, is being wiped out by fungus.

Banana plantations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Taiwan have been destroyed by the fungus, which is spreading through much of Southeast Asia, reports Popular Science.

Experts say the fungus could wipe out Cavendish bananas worldwide.

To save the banana, scientists are trying to genetically alter the Cavendish to make it able to resist the fungus. They are also developing another variety that they hope most consumers would find an acceptable substitute.

In any event, this has happened before -- up until the 1960s, Americans ate Gros Michel bananas, a banana that was larger and considered tastier than the Cavendish. That variety got killed by a fungus.

Bananas are the most popular U.S. fruit -- the average American consumes 26.2 pounds of bananas a year, reported the New York Times Sunday.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: With the familiar Cavendish banana in danger, can science help it survive?

Related Stories

Panama disease spreads among bananas—again

November 1, 2013

Panama disease is causing significant damage in banana cultivation in Southeast Asia. Together with a number of partners, scientists from Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) have demonstrated that the disease – ...

Call for action in Nature to save the banana

December 23, 2013

For years, Panama disease has attacked banana plantations in Southeast Asia. After a recent outbreak in Jordan, the first outside of Asia, the devastating disease is now also present in Mozambique. Stephan Weise of Bioversity ...

Recommended for you

More than 15,000 near-Earth objects and counting

October 28, 2016

The international effort to find, confirm and catalogue the multitude of asteroids that pose a threat to our planet has reached a milestone: 15 000 discovered – with many more to go.

How planets like Jupiter form

October 28, 2016

Young giant planets are born from gas and dust. Researchers of ETH Zürich and the Universities of Zürich and Bern simulated different scenarios relying on the computing power of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre ...

Novel light sources made of 2-D materials

October 28, 2016

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs, which are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.