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Bananageddon – A Frightening Lack of Genetic Diversity

Touch the Soil News #510 For North Americans, bananas are primarily and imported food. Through market, production and uniformity considerations, the bananas North Americans enjoy is down to one variety – the Cavendish. Back in the 50’s there was another variety called the Gros Michel banana. This banana was almost wiped out due to the “Panama” disease. The Cavendish banana was resistant to the “Panama” disease when production (particularly production intended for export) migrated to the Cavendish variety. Today, the Cavendish banana is in danger of disappearing due to pressure of rising costs and disease made worse by a lack of genetic diversity in the realm of bananas. A new…

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