Everyone’s favorite banana may soon be extinct. The Smithsonian reports that the Cavendish, the most popular pieces of banana in the United States, has been hit with a devastating fungus in countries that produce them.
Called the Fusarium wilt, the fungus has already struck both Africa and Asia. It has since also hit the banana-growing regions of Australia, reports Bloomberg Business. Before the Cavendish rose to popularity, everyone enjoyed eating its predecessor the Gros Michel. However, the same fugal pathogen wiped the species out in the 1950s.
Once infected, the banana leaves start to yellow and continue to brown until the fruit eventually dries. Researchers are scrambling to find a cure for the fungus, but might already be too late to save the popular species of fruit. The fungus is said to hit the US in about 5 to 10 years.
The new strain of Fusarium can be easily transmitted and acts quickly. While it has yet to hit the US, sources say it’s only a matter of time. Chances are, however, that the Cavendish species will be extinct like the former Gros Michel. Though it’s likely a stronger species of banana will eventually replace it.