Deadly Fungus Drives Bananas Closer to Extinction

August 13th, 2019

Wibbitz News

Deadly Fungus Drives Bananas Closer to Extinction. The Colombian agriculture and livestock authority recently announced the arrival of Tropical Race 4 (TR4) in Latin America. TR4, in an infectious fungus that causes banana plants to become infertile. . Cavendish bananas are especially susceptible to TR4, as the bananas are mass produced to be almost exact genetic identicals. TR4 was first identified in Taiwan in the 1990s and remained confined to Southeast Asia and Australia until 2013, when it was found in the Middle East and Africa. . There is no known fungicide that is effective against TR4, with containment being the only defense. . Banana importers, such as those in the United States, may soon see higher prices and scarcer supplies of bananas. However, for those in Latin America, the scarcity of bananas will likely cause widespread economic distress. Latin America is the epicenter of the banana industry, containing the top 10 banana exporters to the United States. It is also home to four of the top five exporters of bananas to the world market, with Ecuador being the world’s largest exporter