Did you know that from the Botanical point of view, bananas are not fruits, and berries? In some countries they are so popular that are one of the most basic foodstuffs. For example, each inhabitant of warm Ecuador for one year consumes more than 73 kilograms of this fruit, and in Russia this figure is equal to about 7 kilograms a year per person. The bananas for the second time in modern history at risk to completely disappear from the face of the Earth because of the so-called “Panama disease” which leads to rotting of whole banana plantations.
The cause of the disease are fungi-parasites, called Fusarium. They can get completely different plants, including corn and even cucumbers, but in the 1950-ies the biggest blow received was bananas. It is the “Panama disease” was the reason that the shops had completely disappeared popular variety of banana “Gros Michel” with very strong peel that protects the fruit during transport to other countries.
Where they grow bananas?
To replace the missing grade came “Cavendish” which has resistance to this disease — it is this variety we eat today. Unfortunately, the durability of this type of bananas did not last long, because already in 1960-e years, botanists began to notice that even this sort of started to rot due to the same fungi, parasites. In 2015, the “Panama disease” was seen in Africa and India, and in the summer of 2019 was registered in Latin America, which accounts for the largest number of bananas.
Banana “Gros Michel”
The first infected bananas were discovered in June and, to prevent the spread of disease, farmers had to close for four plantations. In other plantations, detection of rotting fruit, burnt all located at a distance of 10 meters of the plant. Also, in order to stop the spread of the fungus, before entering on the cultivation of bananas, the farmers carefully washed the trucks and shoes.
As you can see, farmers are seriously concerned about the new epidemic of “Panama disease”. Their concern is not unfounded, because the bananas are at risk of becoming scarce and extremely expensive product. To prevent undesirable tropical berries contain many useful substances that improve the heart muscle and the digestive system. In some countries, bananas used for medical purposes: doctors are confident that banana peel is capable of removing even the largest warts.
See also: Banana — a high-calorie source of potassium
The spread of the disease?
Funds from the “Panama disease” is not currently exist, but scientists hope to develop it in the near future. Samples of infected bananas has been sent to Wageningen University — laboratory tests have to show how exactly the spread of the disease. This will allow chemists to create a tool that’ll stop the epidemic.
Banana infected with “Panama disease”
The scientists also want to know how the fungus initially struck Africa and India, could end up in Latin America. Most likely, he came together with dirty agricultural machinery, or on the soles of shoes travelling wage workers or tourists.
This is interesting: 10 things that will disappear forever if the bees disappear
Mushrooms-parasites sometimes like tiny villains, who are literally destroying the Earth. Recently biologists managed to find out how a fungus called Cordyceps turns ants into zombies and infect other insects. According to the scientists, this process is similar to a scene from a horror movie.