“The story of the banana is really the story of modern agriculture exemplified in a single fruit,” says Daniel Bebber, who leads the BananEx research group at the University of Exeter. Amid growing rebellion from locals who demanded higher wages, the United Fruit Company’s annual profits of $65m came under pressure when tropical race 1, a strain, of the fungal Panama disease, infected the fruit and brought commercial production to a screeching halt. According to Dusunceli, emerging technologies like this offer the chance to “develop resistant varieties”, but pose some issues. There are many varieties of banana in the world, and until the later half of the 19th century, the dominant one was called the Gros Michel. The banana has its earliest origins in Papua New Guinea, where it was domesticated by indigenous communities at least 7,000 years ago. It seems like a local problem at first, but eventually crosses borders and oceans to engulf the whole world. When it comes to tropical fruits, Norwich probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind. But there appear to be few other options, particularly as the banana industry already walks a tightrope. Nor are concerns over a banana plight unwarranted. “It only takes a single clump of contaminated dirt, literally, to get this thing rampaging across entire continents.”. “It has all of the ingredients of equitability and sustainability issues, disease pressure, and climate change impact all in one. Monoculture has its benefits. The world's most popular fruit is facing extinction, and scientists are racing to use gene-editing to save it. Bananas Are Facing Extinction â And Itâs All Our Fault The worldâs favorite fruit, known for its health benefits, is under attack by two dangerous diseases. The start-up, which moved to Norwich in 2016, consists of a team of almost 50 scientists and researchers working on editing the genes of bananas to protect them against diseases. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our, What We Can Learn From the Near-Death of the Banana. This contagion, Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4), may cause a mass extinction. For example, the 1988 Morris Worm infected an estimated 10% of all computers connected to the Internet within just 24 hours, and, more recently, the 2016 Mirai Botnet, which allowed an outside party to remotely control a network of internet-connected devices, brought down Twitter, Netflix, CNN and more. Ninety-nine percent of exported bananas are a variety called the Cavendish—the attractive, golden-yellow fruit seen in the supermarket today. When it comes to tropical fruits, Norwich probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind. The Telegraph values your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. The UK-based biotech company Tropic Biosciences has received $10 million in funding to use gene-editing technology to research solutions to widespread issues with tropical crops, focusing specially on disease resistance in bananas. It works by using a protein to cut away at sequences of DNA that might code for unfavourable traits. A collapse was inevitable. The fruit itself is, botanically, a berry. Because banana farmers are overwhelmingly growing the same exact crop—the Cavendish—they were all vulnerable to the same diseases. For bananas, addressing the problems caused by monoculture may be harder, as market standards and supply chains make it very expensive for fruit companies to cultivate multiple varieties. And as the banana industry has begun to battle the effects of monoculture, someone else has taken notice: the tech world. Instead of switching to more natural varieties which breed on their own, stories that the banana could be extinct in 10 years are being used to drum up support for genetically modified bananas. The Cavendish was resistant to the disease and fit other market needs: it could stay green for several weeks after being harvested (ideal for shipments to Europe), it had a high yield rate and it looked good in stores. “It’s hard for me to imagine today any solution not coming from gene editing.”. This creates an unprecedented need for more productive and environmentally friendly agricultural production. 2020-11-25 Ecuador is about to set a new banana export record in 2020 2020-11-25 "Cooperation ensures a constant supply of pre-matured goods" 2020 â¦ A deadly fungus threatens the planet’s fourth most important crop with extinction, but a UK start-up thinks it may have the solution. Breeding better bananas. Forrest argues that some of the most notorious software attacks in history are comparable to Panama disease’s threat to the Cavendish; uniform software systems lead to uniform vulnerabilities. Specifically, one of the main tools in the firm’s arsenal of tools is CRISPR, a technology that significantly reduces the cost of editing genes – the essential coding for biology. Even if the world’s relationship to bananas may never be the same, the lessons of the fruit can still save us from damage that could hit far beyond the produce aisle. DOI: 10.1002/csc2.20320 “With people, of course, populations are stronger and more disease-resistant if there’s more genetic diversity. This ancestor, Musa â¦ There’s a name for this situation: monoculture, the practice of fostering just one variety of something. It seems like a local problem at first, but eventually crosses borders and oceans to engulf the whole world. “It’s still not close enough to the Cavendish,” he says, but he thinks the crisis may convince them. Much of the world's bananas are of the Cavendish variety, which is endangered by a strain of Panama disease. In the mid-20th century, for example, the âGros Michelâ cultivar dominated global sales before being totally decimated by what is â¦ At up to 20 feet tall in their native land in southeast Asia, they are the largest flowering herbaceous perennials in the world. In fact, the banana is not what it used to be. “The situation is very urgent,” says Bebber. In fact, the entire banana supply chain is now set up to suit the very specific needs of that variety. The parallel was noticed as early as the late 1990s. To tackle the problem, the international research program ABBB, with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is focused on improving the production and production capacity of the banana in the East African highlands. Once the disease is established in a field there is no way of eradicating it, which means the plot can no longer be used to grow the fruit. Cavendish bananas are asexual, which means they can’t be bred in a way that eliminates the genes putting them at risk, according to Gershon. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. “[Every] single banana scientist I spoke to—and that was quite a few—says it’s not an ‘if,’ it’s a ‘when,’ and 10 to 30 years,” he said. But the bigger problem is how hard it is to stop. Its technology works by taking a banana flower from a place like Colombia and reducing it to millions of stem cells in cultures. Izumiranje banan bi bilo mogoče preprečiti z gensko spremenjenimi rastlinami - Ekstrakripcija - 2020 Zelo resnična grožnja podaljševanja banan je še vedno nad svetovnimi pridelki banan. cubense (Foc) and infected plant materials. On average, says Chris Barrett, a professor of agriculture at Cornell University, citing that U.N. data, every person on earth chows down on 130 bananas a year, at a rate of nearly three a week. 2 Mar, 2020 08:15 PM 8 minutes to read. Almost a decade ago, Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, warned in an NPR interview that Panama Disease would return to the world’s largest banana exporters, and this time with a strain that would hit the Cavendish hard. 100% control of Fusarium wilt TR4.National State of Emergency declared in Colombia in 2019.Fusarium wilt TR4 is existential threat to the $25 billion global banana industry. It’s for a good reason. UPDATE: September 28, 2018, 2:25 p.m.: Further studies confirm the extinction of the banana as we know it is upon us.. Stephanie Forrest, one of the early researchers in this area, commonly cites the banana problem in lectures explaining the importance of diversity in computer systems. July 23, 2020 The contagion begins its sweep, commuting with workers from farm to farm. Panama disease (or Fusarium wilt) is a plant disease that infects banana plants (Musa spp.). But here, in a drab research park at the edge of the East Anglian city, a team of banana experts led by a former Israeli naval commander is working feverishly to save the fruit from extinction. Panama disease, an infection that ravages banana plants, has been sweeping across Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. “To make a system artificially diverse, you just rearrange its guts in ways where the differences do not affect functionality in a material way,” Schneider says. “The efficiency of taking the CRISPR into the cells is low. Bananas are a major crop and a mainstay of the country’s agricultural economy. The singular focus on Gros Michel, a small banana described as having a tartish aftertaste, proved to be lucrative but ran a risk. For Gershon’s Norwich-based start-up, which is also working on cutting the caffeine content of coffee, gene editing technologies have become a critical tool to protect the banana. When it comes to bananas, everything from truck tires to workers’ boots can be disease carriers. You probably take bananas for granted. Bananas are uniquely vulnerable to disease because a single strain of the fruit, known as the Cavendish banana, overwhelmingly dominates the global industry making it highly susceptible. When it comes to tropical fruits, Norwich probably isnât the first place that springs to mind. In the mid 1900s, the most popular banana in the world—a sweet, creamy variety called Gros Michel grown in Latin America—all but disappeared from the planet.
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