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An Unstoppable Fungus Might Make Bananas Go Extinct
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08/14/2019 12:46 PM
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Colombia has declared a state of emergency due to the return of a deadly fungus that wiped out an entire species of banana decades ago.
Last week, Colombia declared a national state of emergency after confirming that a devastating-to-bananas fungus called Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4) has been detected on almost 445 acres of farmland in the country. According to Science, this is the first time the fungus' presence has been confirmed in South America—and that could be bad, bad news for bananas as we know them.
The appearance of TR4 in South America—and its ability to decimate the Cavendish banana—is unsettling to scientists because, well, they've seen this before. Before the Cavendish, the most popular banana in the United States and Europe was the Gros Michel banana, and we say was, because it was almost entirely wiped out by a previous strain of Panama Disease.
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