Ask any one in the world what their favorite fruit is and chances are the answer will be the banana. And deservedly so, it’s easy to peel, easy to eat and travels well. Interestingly, although there are dozens of available varieties of most other fruits, when it comes to bananas only one variety accounts for 99% of the banana export market, the Cavendish… and it is under serious threat of extinction. black sigatoka, is the soil-borne fungus that is threatening to wipe out the world’s banana crops. It is considered one of the most destructive and devastating crop diseases and the one that causes the greatest economic impact in banana and plantain crops. It is extremely difficult to eradicate as the pathogen has developed resistance to the fungicides, which are typically used to prevent the disease. A future without bananas is hard to imagine, but will very possibly become a reality in our lifetime without a groundbreaking solution.

Our scientists at ZGSI along with our academic and corporate partners are pioneering new solutions, utilizing space-flight acquired non-GMO stem cells as well as ground-based solutions using the Company’s chemistry based technolo-gies to treat the disease and/or produce a variety that is resistant to the black sigatoka fungus that is threatening to wipe them out.