Sunday, March 8, 2015

Yes we still have bananas

Perhaps we have become immune to continual threats and media hype related to medical and biosecurity threats. So the recent reports of Panama disease among the Cassowary Coast banana crop was something I hadn't really looked at.

Banana industry braces for biosecurity battle against deadly Panama tropical race 4

Wikipedia is not the most authoritative source but the disease has an interesting history. The Gros Michel banana variety which had been the principal commercial variety before WW2 was all but wiped out by Panama disease.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_disease

The impact of the disease was apparently even responsible for the song "yes we have no bananas". The Cavendish banana was apparently introduced for its resistance. Some interesting issues related to the genetics of bananas.

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