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Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years

 
Face Palmer
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08/18/2016 04:08 AM
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Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
Scientists have sequenced the genomes of three fungal diseases that currently threaten banana crops, and found something disturbing - the fungi have evolved to the point where they could wipe out the most popular banana crops in five to 10 years.

Before you let the darkness of a world without bananas swallow you up, the good news is that now we know the genetic sequence of these fungi, we have a good chance of being able to save our favourite fruit species.

"In reality, the global banana industry could be wiped out in just five to 10 years by fast-advancing fungal diseases," a statement from study leaders from the University of California, Davis, explains.

The news comes after we found out last year that another type of fungi not studied in this paper, Panama disease, had breached quarantine efforts and spread across South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia, posing a serious threat to banana crops.

But for this research, the team looked at a disease called Sigatoka, which is caused by three types of fungi, and already reduces banana yields by 40 percent every year.

For the first time, scientists from the University of California, Davis and the Netherlands sequenced the genomes of all three Sigatoka strains - yellow Sigatoka (Pseudocercospora musae), eumusae leaf spot (Pseudocercospora eumusae), and black Sigatoka (Pseudocercospora figiensis).

They found that the strains had actually become more dangerous, and no longer just hijack banana's immune system, but also their metabolism.

"We have demonstrated that two of the three most serious banana fungal diseases have become more virulent by increasing their ability to manipulate the banana’s metabolic pathways and make use of its nutrients," said one of the researchers Ioannis Stergiopoulos.

[link to www.sciencealert.com]

deaddead
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BRYinTX

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08/18/2016 04:17 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
this happened before. we don't eat the same variety of banana that people ate 50 years ago.
Face Palmer  (OP)

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08/18/2016 09:45 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
dead3
"The world will soon wake up to the reality that everyone is broke and can collect nothing from the bankrupt, who are owed unlimited amounts by the insolvent, who are attempting to make late payments on a bank holiday in the wrong country, with an unacceptable currency, against defaulted collateral, of which nobody is sure who holds title."

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

The woman who is not pursued sets up the doctrine that pursuit is offensive to her sex, and wants to make it a felony. No genuinely attractive woman has any such desire. - H.L. Mencken, In Defense Of Women
The Old Timer

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08/18/2016 09:47 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
Yes I read about that about a year ago....it will...in time wipe out potassium sticks
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Libertarian4Life

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08/18/2016 10:05 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
Yes I read about that about a year ago....it will...in time wipe out potassium sticks
 Quoting: The Old Timer


Wiping out 1 of the 3 vital electrolytes needed to survive.

Sodium, Magnesium and Potassium
Oldmotherhubbard

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08/18/2016 10:09 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
So banana, avocado (wasn't it avocado supply was going to diminish and some major food chain stopped making/offering guacamole and now you see a ton of Florida avocados in the stores? Maybe I'm wrong)
And bacon, bacon was supposed to be almost obsolete by now, but I still see it in the stores (though barely anyone can afford the store bought bacon)
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Anonymous Coward
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08/18/2016 10:14 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
this happened before. we don't eat the same variety of banana that people ate 50 years ago.
 Quoting: BRYinTX


Came here to say this.
aqmah*

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08/18/2016 10:17 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
this happened before. we don't eat the same variety of banana that people ate 50 years ago.
 Quoting: BRYinTX


what the fuck i'm inserting into my mouth right now? huh
@mgamesx
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08/18/2016 10:18 AM

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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
Fungus spores are everywhere all the time. They only attack and take over a plant when it's vulnerable.

Whenever some agricultural disease is discussed, they never talk about the husbandry.

I'm sure bananas are planted in huge monoculture plantations, and I'm sure the soils are depleted of minerals from such heavy farming for so long.

Maybe the plants are lacking trace minerals and also stressed from they way they are planted without any natural overstory or understory neighbors.

Anyway I've heard this for years, that they would be gone, also cacao plants, that chocolate is made of, are getting diseases.

Depletion of soil minerals is a big deal, also sterilization of soil by chemicals kills the microbes that break down the minerals into forms that the plants can use.

The modern technological way is to look for a poison that will kill the fungus, not make the plant stronger and more resistant because of ROBUST HEALTH and natural immunity.
Anonymous Coward
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08/18/2016 10:22 AM
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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
Thank you GMO
PatrikC325

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08/18/2016 10:24 AM

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Re: Banana doom! Fungal disease could wipe bananas out in 5 to 10 years
Scientists have sequenced the genomes of three fungal diseases that currently threaten banana crops, and found something disturbing - the fungi have evolved to the point where they could wipe out the most popular banana crops in five to 10 years.

Before you let the darkness of a world without bananas swallow you up, the good news is that now we know the genetic sequence of these fungi, we have a good chance of being able to save our favourite fruit species.

"In reality, the global banana industry could be wiped out in just five to 10 years by fast-advancing fungal diseases," a statement from study leaders from the University of California, Davis, explains.

The news comes after we found out last year that another type of fungi not studied in this paper, Panama disease, had breached quarantine efforts and spread across South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia, posing a serious threat to banana crops.

But for this research, the team looked at a disease called Sigatoka, which is caused by three types of fungi, and already reduces banana yields by 40 percent every year.

For the first time, scientists from the University of California, Davis and the Netherlands sequenced the genomes of all three Sigatoka strains - yellow Sigatoka (Pseudocercospora musae), eumusae leaf spot (Pseudocercospora eumusae), and black Sigatoka (Pseudocercospora figiensis).

They found that the strains had actually become more dangerous, and no longer just hijack banana's immune system, but also their metabolism.

"We have demonstrated that two of the three most serious banana fungal diseases have become more virulent by increasing their ability to manipulate the banana’s metabolic pathways and make use of its nutrients," said one of the researchers Ioannis Stergiopoulos.

[link to www.sciencealert.com]

deaddead
 Quoting: Face Palmer

The increasing demand for bananas, and the lucrative banana trade, as exemplified by the UFC, had massive effects on the production of plantains on Caribbean, Central American, and South American farms. Small-scale cultivation gradually gave way to more intense production to maximize yield and minimize loss. Banana traders increasingly influenced the development of harvesting practices that both limited varietals to breeds deemed desirable for European and American markets as well as those timed to produce during the peak seasons of banana consumption, March through June. Gradually, one breed of bananas began to stand out as a particularly profitable fruit, the Gros Michel or “Big Mike.”

The Big Mike banana offered a major advantage to most other plantains: its thick, resilient peel. The resilience of Big Mike offered the sweet fruit of the desert banana preferred by Westerners with better armor. The Gros Michel was the perfect candidate for plantation monocultures, and rapidly supplanted most other bananas grown for American and European consumption.
[link to cwh.ucsc.edu]