For the past several years, the disease has moved quickly, killing crops through Asia, the Middle East, and Africa — and it’s nearly impossible to stop. Public Domain. The Gros Michel banana was probably a staple of your grandfather's or great grandfather's diet, but chances are you haven't had the pleasure of a taste. For decades the most-exported and therefore most important banana in the world was the Gros Michel, but in the 1950s it was practically wiped out by the fungus known as Panama disease or banana … For decades, the Gros Michel banana was the standard in the United States and across the world. The Gros Michel banana was the dominant cultivar of bananas, and Fusarium wilt inflicted enormous costs and forced producers to switch to other, disease-resistant cultivars. ... Panama disease descended and started devastating the plantations where it was primarily grown, and … The epidemic strated in Central America on the susceptible 'Gros Michel' banana, which at the time dominated the global export trade. Banana production is seriously threatened by Fusarium wilt (FW), a disease caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. By the 1890s, Panama disease got so serious that Gros Michel plantations were dying out, but it’s not the end of the banana industry… To replace the Gros Michel, the blander Cavendish variety was planted. In the first half of the 20th century, our parents and grandparents ate a delicious banana called Gros Michel, or Big Mike in colloquial terms. But in the 1950s a deadly strain of the fungus causing Fusarium Wilt (Panama disease) wiped out almost all banana plantations in Central and South America. ... A 1918 photograph shows Gros Michel plants struck by Panama disease. In the 1950s, 'Gros Michel' was replaced by Cavendish cultivars. Now, a newer, more virulent strain of Panama disease is wreaking that same havoc on the Cavendish and experts fear the banana we know and frequently devour may meet the same fate as the Gros Michel. Read more. cubense (Foc). The Gros Michel banana was the dominant cultivar of bananas, and Fusarium wilt inflicted enormous costs and forced producers to switch to other, disease-resistant cultivars. Currently, a new outbreak of Panama disease caused by the strain Tropical Race 4 (TR4) threatens the production of the Cavendish banana , today's most popular cultivar. It is the first disease of bananas to have spread globally in the first half of the 20th century. Currently, a new outbreak of Panama disease caused by the strain Tropical Race 4 (TR4) threatens the production of today's most popular cultivars, Cavendish. In the mid-twentieth century FW, also known as “Panama disease”, wiped out the Gros Michel banana industry in Central America. For decades, the most-exported banana in the world was the Gros Michel, but in the 1950s a fungus known as Panama disease or banana wilt almost completely wiped them out. Written in 1922, the song “Yes, We Have No Bananas” was said to be written in reaction to the initial disappearance of the Gros Michel banana to Panama disease.
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