Devastating Plant Fungus May Eradicate Bananas Within Five Years

 Most people likely take the bananas on their grocery store shelves for granted, but plant pathologists are saying the fruit could be extinct within the next five to ten years. This issue is a fast-advancing disease compound known as the Sigatoka complex which is made up of three fungal diseases. Of the three, black Sigatoka poses the greatest risk to the 100 million tonnes of bananas grown annually in almost 120 countries. The three diseases not only shut down the immune system of the banana tree, but the metabolism of the fungi also adapt to match that of the host plant. This means the fungi can produce enzymes to break down the plant’s cell walls to feed on its carbohydrates. Experts say in order to prevent the global banana industry from being wiped out in the next decade, farmers need to make 50 fungicide applications to their banana crops annually. (Fox)