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A genetic clone, the Cavendish banana that stocks supermarket shelves could easily be wiped out by disease. Science offers hope of a sustainable approach
The banana is the world’s most popular fruit crop, with over 100m metric tons produced annually in over 130 tropical and subtropical countries. Edible bananas are the result of a genetic accident in nature that created the seedless fruit we enjoy today. Virtually all the bananas sold across the western world belong to the so-called Cavendish subgroup of the species and are genetically nearly identical. These bananas are sterile and dependent on propagation via cloning, either by using suckers and cuttings taken from the underground stem or through modern tissue culture.
Related: Can agroecology feed the world and save the planet?
Summer has arrived! Click the link below for information and our guide on how to host a green BBQ.