by Jeffrey Weiss
The banana is the most popular fruit in the U.S.—the average American eats 150 of them a year—which is why a new fungus that threatens our supermarket banana (the variety is called the Cavendish) is alarming experts and prompting initiatives to develop new strains of banana that will resist the blight. The Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Investigation (FHIA) is a leader in the effort to create a Cavendish replacement through hybridization. Here, a FHIA worker stands on a ladder to fertilize one banana plant with the pollen of another plant. Today´s cultivated bananas do not reproduce without human intervention. New plants are grown from shoots of existing plants.