The Cavendish Banana illustrates the dangerous lack of biodiversity...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, May 23, 2006.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1779857,00.html


    A primer for the dangers of limited biodiversity in crops.
     
  2. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    this issue might sell me on GM!!!
     

  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Biodiversity is the key. As the article said:

    Such similarity spells danger, for plantations of doppelganger bananas lack genetic diversity and are therefore at risk of succumbing to disease. Once a fungus evolves past the natural defences of one set of trees, it will spread like wildfire through the rest.

    The trouble is that fungi are constantly evolving and trying to bypass the plant's natural defences.

    they point out that in some small plantations, managers have discovered that the Panama fungus - to which the Cavendish was supposed to be immune - has begun to attack and kill Cavendish plants.

    You can modify something, but that doesn't stop the change in the organisms around it. They'll find a way. Nature abhors a monoculture! Hooray for biodiversity!

    Meg
     
  4. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I don't understand, could you elaborate a little?
     
  5. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I love bananas! I eat at least two a day. They are all over the world (hundreds of varieties some are more resistant to pathogens than others and the said pathogen is found in south/central america their will still be plenty of bananas in the asia pacific region they may be expensive and limited in the UK and USA in the future but they will never dissapear.
     
  6. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I love bananas! I eat at least two a day. They are all over the world (hundreds of varieties some are more resistant to pathogens than others and the said pathogen is found in south/central america their will still be plenty of bananas in the asia pacific region they may be expensive and limited in the UK and USA in the future but they will never dissapear.
     
  7. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The lesson will be repeated until it is learned!
     
  8. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ZYG- I'm opposed to Genetic Modification (I mean the lab bench sort not the farmer/gardener selectively breeding) as practiced because I think we ignore the possible consequences and it is beng done for profit mostly with minimal consideration of other issues. However if the scientists can invent a Frankenfood banana and that's the only sort available (see jnap- might not be true) I'll be grateful for their tinkering with life and DNA/playing god/whatever you want to call it.
     
  9. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    They bred bananas to be seedless, so now there is no chance of hybridization/cross pollination to develop a resistant strain. So, unfortunately, the only option is Genetic Modification - or watch bananas go the way of the elm tree.
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana

    The big deal about this is the shelf life is shortened extrememly because the cavendish is the best "export" banana.
     
  11. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Sadly this is likely going to suck so many simple minded people into thinking GM is actually the answer to sustainable agriculture.
    Monocultures ARE NOT sustainable- here's some proof.
    I love bananas, but like everybody will survive without the fancy seedless ones. but 'coming soon.... GM bananas... as if our corn chips, potato chips, among most other process foods weren't enough to spoil the fields.
    How come European countries are willing to fight for their right to get labelled GM products, while the American's won't even blink at it?? Sad.
     
  12. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    SAD does not even begin to describe it. We will all be slaves to Monsanto frankenfood in a few years in America.
     
  13. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    This really doesn't have to do with Monsanto. This was just poor farming practices for the sake of profit.
     
  14. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Monsanto will probably have their hand in trying to develop GM bananas I imagine.
     
  15. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Didn't this happen with Pandas and the only kind of bamboo they eat?

    Maybe we live in harmony with the earth rather than try to dominate it.

    Yes, I do believe we humans are the cause... if you get my drift.
     
  16. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <<Didn't this happen with Pandas and the only kind of bamboo they eat?>>

    And the Irish and potatoes...
     
  17. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Isn't the wine/grape industry in danger of a similar fate. IIRC, the majority of the root stock used for grafting is all the same, and in danger of being wiped out by disease. Any grape experts out there?
     
  18. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Sorry ZYG, you're way off on this example.

    What we know as the banana was man-made many centuries if not millenia ago. How else would you have made the popular seedless banana? Its sterile and therefore not a candiate for increasing genetic diversity in the crop via sexual reproductio. Biodiversity and "poor farming practices for profit" have nothing to do with this.
     
  19. HomesteadBaker

    HomesteadBaker Working toward the dream

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    No doubt. Monsanto is also a HUGE supporter of the USDA's push to get NAIS through!!! Ponder the possibilities of that scenario....... :stars:



    24 days to go... :sing:
    Kitty
     
  20. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    So the banana magically became seedless and the same variety used over the whole globe?

    I don't believe I am off on this example. People who liked the taste of bananas (centuries ago) kept selectively breeding until they made a seedless banana. Farmers, in a rush to make a buck, all use the same variety.

    A sterile plant can't reproduce effectively without man tending to it.