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There is bad news banana lovers. The most common banana the world is danger of becoming extinct. It is called the Cavendish banana and people eat it all the world. A fungus called Tropical Race 4 (TP4) is killing millions banana plants. The fungus blocks small tubes that absorb water inside the plant. This means the plant cannot get the water it needs and so it dies. Scientists first discovered TP4 Malaysia in 1990. It quickly spread to other parts South-East Asia and then Australia and Africa. TP4 is spread in dirt that is carried the wind, water, cars and even people's boots. A tiny amount TP4 can spread across large areas very quickly. Some scientists believe TP4 could kill the banana industry.

This is not the first time that a variety banana has become extinct. Before we started eating the Cavendish banana, we ate a variety called the Gros Michel. Fifty years ago, the Gros Michel banana was the main banana grown the world. However, it was hit a fungus called Panama Disease. The Gros Michel banana became extinct 1965 and banana growers switched the Cavendish banana. The problem the banana industry is that even if they burn all their banana plants, the fungus stays the soil. This means new plants cannot be grown. Scientists say one option is genetically modified (GM) bananas that are resistant to diseases like TP4 and Panama Disease.

 
 

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