New field test detects banana fungus faster than ever

A new field test developed by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) for detecting Tropical Race 4 (TR4) – the Fusarium strain that causes the much-feared Panama disease in bananas—has tested positive in Colombia. The ...

The quest to save the banana from extinction

Panama disease, an infection that ravages banana plants, has been sweeping across Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. The impact has been devastating. In the Philippines alone, losses have totalled US$400m. And the ...

Path of Panama disease fungus established for the first time

The much-feared Tropical Race 4 strain of the Fusarium oxysporum soil fungus which causes Panama disease in Cavendish bananas has now been discovered in Myanmar. This follows closely on the heels of its discovery in Vietnam ...

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Banana

Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red.

Almost all modern edible parthenocarpic bananas come from the two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific names Musa sapientum and Musa paradisiaca are no longer used.

Banana is also used to describe Enset and Fe'i bananas, neither of which belong to the aforementioned species. Enset bananas belong to the genus Ensete while the taxonomy of Fe'i-type cultivars is uncertain.

In popular culture and commerce, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet "dessert" bananas. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains or "cooking bananas". The distinction is purely arbitrary and the terms 'plantain' and 'banana' are sometimes interchangeable depending on their usage.

They are native to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics. They are grown in at least 107 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine and as ornamental plants.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA