Going bananas

Pearce, F. (2003) Going bananas. New Scientist (2378). pp. 26-29.

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PITY the banana. Despite its unmistakably phallic appearance, it hasn't had sex for thousands of years. The world's sexiest fruit is a sterile, seedless mutant - and therein lies a problem. The banana is genetically old and decrepit. It has been at an evolutionary standstill ever since it was first propagated in the jungles of South-East Asia at the end of the last ice age. And that is why some scientists believe the world's most popular fruit could be doomed. It lacks the genetic diversity to fight off pests and diseases that are invading the banana plantations of Central America and the smallholdings of Africa and Asia alike. The banana needs a pick-me-up fast. But science has so far let it down. For decades plant breeders have all but ignored it, because developing new varieties without the help of sexual reproduction is expensive and time-consuming. As a result, most people ...

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Banana, Banana Crop, World
Subjects: Plant Production
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 31 May 2012 10:38
Last Modified: 31 May 2012 10:38
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/6012

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