According to a new study, bananas could become extinct within ten years due to some species of pathogenic fungi capable of decimating crops.He is about to end up run over, his mother saves him
Endangered bananas? A mushroom pathogen could cause the unexpected disappearance of the exotic fruit (and love) par excellence. Already a year ago the “curious” news had leapt out, but now the situation seems to worsen and a new study confirms it.
According to researchers at the University of California at Davis, in fact, bananas could become extinct within ten years due to some species of pathogenic fungi capable of decimating crops. In the study published by Plos Genetics, the genome of parasites is analyzed and it has been found that in recent years they have become much more aggressive.
If in the research conducted in recent months the cause of the extinction of bananas was identified in the so-called "Panama disease", Whose responsible was a fungus which over time has become such a serious threat as to put the existence of the plantations at risk, now the Californian scholars point the finger at the disease called"Sigatoka”, Caused by three different mushrooms.
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By analyzing the genome of all three, the researchers showed that two of the three mushrooms became more virulent, increasing their ability to manipulate metabolic processes to harness the fruit's nutrients.
“The advance of this and other diseases - explains Ioannis Stergiopulos, one of the authors - can bring an industry of 100 million tons a year to its knees in 5-10 years. To make the situation worse is the fact that Cavendish bananas, the most common ones, all derive from the same original plant, and are basically clones with the same genome, which makes it easier for parasites to attack ”.
Banana ranks fourth as the world's staple food, with 140 million tons of fruit produced annually in subtropical and tropical regions. But, scholars say, bananas are prone to contracting many diseases which can seriously reduce production and pose a threat to global food security.
The fruit also suffers from an "image problem", as Stergiopulos says, offering consumers the idea that it is always available in every place. But in reality, the global banana industry could be wiped out in the next 5/10 years if fungal diseases advance, just like Sigatoka disease, which is capable of reducing banana yields by 50-70% if not. is checked.
In short, these are more or less serious diseases that also require more than 50 applications of fungicides per year, which is absolutely prohibitive for small farmers, who are consequently left at the mercy of contamination. But there is a but: "now, for the first time, we have understood the genomic basis of the evolution of virulence in these fungal diseases, thus giving us the possibility of intervention", continued Stergiopoulos.
There are killer fungi capable of decimating crops, but alas, there is also a frenzied industrial cultivation that makes plants much more vulnerable to attacks by parasites.
A right compromise will be found starting, perhaps, from one less intensive cultivation?