Sex-starved bananas face the chop
Thu Jan 16, 5:59 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - It is one of the world's favourite fruits, but the banana hasn't had sex in years and its days may be numbered.
Without scientific help the sterile, seedless fruit could disappear with 10 years, according to a Belgian plant pathologist.
Emile Frison, the head of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain in Monpellier, France, said the fruit lacks the genetic diversity to fight off diseases and pests that are plaguing banana plantations and only biotechnology and genetic manipulation may be able to save it.
"Frison sees it as the only hope for the banana," New Scientist said on Wednesday.
Without assistance banana production could drop and mark the beginning of the end of the fruit.
"We may even see the extinction of the banana as both a lifesaver for hungry and impoverished Africans and as the most popular product on the world's supermarket shelves," the magazine added