Bananas Could Become Extinct Due to a Deadly Fungus
Believe it or not, one of the world's favorite fruits could become extinct, and sooner than we think.
KCCI Des Moines reports that a banana-killing fungus has made its way from Southeast Asia to Latin America- and that could spell the end of the fruit as we know it.
Per the Colombia Agricultural Institute, which confirmed the news Aug. 8, a strain of the Fusarium oxysporum fungus (also called Tropical Race 4) has been found. The government declared a state of emergency, and farmers have been instructed to quarantine plantations and destroy bananas up north where the fungus was first detected.
According to Exiter University's chair in food, Cavendish bananas (the kind we consume in North America), are likely to be killed off.
"What we're having is an almost apocalyptic scenario where we'll probably lose Cavendish as well," Sarah Gurr, told Wired.
The fungus can sit dormant for many years, but it's nearly impossible to completely get rid of it.
Since the situation is currently looking dire, scientists are likely to look to gene editing and cross-breeding to save the fruit.