Scientists fight to save bananas from extinction
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Bananas are one of the world's favorite fruits, but a fungal disease is threatening to wipe out the most popular type of banana.
Panama disease, a fungus that lives in the soil, enters banana trees through the roots and cuts off the flow of water and nutrients, causing the plant to wilt.
The disease is a major threat to the Cavendish banana, the most internationally traded banana found on the market today.
However, scientists are searching for new solutions to keep the Cavendish banana from getting wiped out by Panama disease
"One solution is to try, in some way, to get the genes from the wild ancestors of the bananas," said Dr. Dennis Stevenson, Vice President for Laboratory Research at the New York Botanical Garden. "The other option is, perhaps, to change to another banana cultivar that is already resistant."
Despite the threat, however, Stevenson says he's optimistic about the chances of saving the Cavendish banana from being destroyed.
"Science is about problem solving," Stevenson said. "This is a problem, scientists can solve this. So I'm saying ‘No, they're going to solve this and I'm still going to be eating Cavendish bananas.'"