Do you know that from a botanical point of viewAre bananas considered not fruits, but berries? In some countries, they are so popular that they are one of the most basic foods. For example, each resident of warm Ecuador in one year eats more than 73 kilograms of this berry, while in Russia this figure is about 7 kilograms per year per person. At the same time, for the second time in modern history, bananas risk completely disappearing from the face of the Earth due to the so-called “Panamanian disease”, which causes the decay of whole banana plantations.
The cause of the disease is consideredparasitic fungi called fusarium. They can be infected with completely different plants, including corn and even cucumbers, but in the 1950s it was bananas that received the greatest blow. It was the “Panamanian disease” that caused the variety of bananas “Gros-Michel”, which was popular at that time, with a particularly strong peel, which protected fruits during transportation to other countries, completely disappeared from the shops.
Where do bananas grow?
"Cavendish" came to replace the disappeared variety,which is resistant to this disease - it is this variety that we eat today. Unfortunately, the persistence of this type of banana was short-lived, because already in the 1960s, botanists began to notice that even this variety began to rot because of the same parasitic fungi. In 2015, the “Panamanian disease” was spotted in Africa and India, and in the summer of 2019 it was registered in Latin America, where the largest number of bananas is grown.
The first infected bananas were found in June.and to prevent the spread of the disease, farmers had to close as many as four plantations. In other plantations, when rotting fruit is detected, all plants located at a distance of 10 meters are burned. Also, in order to stop the spread of the fungus, before entering the places where bananas are grown, farmers carefully wash trucks and shoes.
The benefits of bananas
As you can see, farmers are seriously concerned about the newthe Panamanian disease epidemic. Their anxiety is not without reason, because bananas risk becoming a scarce, and extremely expensive product. This is undesirable - tropical berries contain a lot of useful substances that improve the functioning of the heart muscle and the digestive system. In some countries, bananas are also used for medical purposes - doctors are convinced that the banana peel can eliminate even the largest warts.
See also: Banana - high-calorie source of potassium
How does the disease spread?
Remedies for Panamanian disease at the momentdoes not exist, but scientists hope to develop it very soon. Samples of infected bananas have already been sent to the University of Wageningen - laboratory tests should show exactly how the disease spreads. This will allow chemists to create a tool that will stop the epidemic.
Banana infected with Panamanian disease
Also, scientists want to find out how the fungusinitially hit Africa and India, was able to find himself in Latin America. Most likely, he arrived along with dirty agricultural machinery, or on the soles of shoes traveling hired workers or tourists.
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Parasitic mushrooms sometimes look like tiny villains,who literally destroy the earth. Recently, biologists have found out how a fungus called cordyceps turns ants into zombies and infects other insects. Judging by the words of scientists, this process is similar to a scene from a horror movie.
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In the meantime, we advise you to go to the store andget a kilo of bananas - maybe soon they will become the same delicacy as black caviar and truffles. Feel like millionaires, at least today!