An anonymous reader writes: In the 1950s, Panama Disease wiped out the dominant type of banana that was imported worldwide. Banana-growers had to switch to a different strain, the Cavendish banana, at great expense. Now, a new study finds that a more virulent strain of the disease is directly threatening the Cavendish banana. Banana plants are dying from it throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. It hasn't reached Latin America yet, which is good — that's where the vast majority of the world's bananas are produced. But the researchers say it's just a matter of time. "The latest strain is likely to put the risks of monoculture on display once more. And while scientists might find or breed a better one in the mean time, the reality is that this time around we don't have a formidable replacement that's resistant to the new strain of Panama Disease. Once it reaches Latin America, as it is expected to, it could be only a matter of decades before the most popular banana on the planet once again disappears."
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