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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Bananas

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  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Bananas
  • Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 00:10:38 -0500

On Oct 29, 2003, at 2:11 PM, wrote:

"400 varieties in test tubes! that is the anti-christ of what i thought i was doing in this group! to save them for us but not for them? i hope all those test tubes break."

I agree with much of what you said, but not the above. Those 400 varieties in test tubes can be used in many ways, including helping the people who live where bananas grow. I was astonished when I learned that all "ordinary" bananas were the same cultivar - talk about dangerous monoculture!! It's also sad that so little research, breeding, and gene preservation is being done on such an important fruit. I guess the multi-nationals have been slow to catch on to the importance of genetic diversity. So much for the greater efficiency and wisdom of private industry as compared to government programs. But those 400 varieties are a start. With luck, some of them will prove to be commercially viable cultivars that require less fungicides. With good planning, someone else is busy breeding bananas (and I'm sure there are some bananas that aren't sterile) to fill more test-tubes with baby tissue-culture plants that can be tested for flavor, shipping, and disease resistance. There's been lots of breeding done on seedless grapes - surely it's possible to breed seedless bananas.


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