The banana is a perennial plant that replaces itself. Bananas do not grow from a seed but from a bulb or rhizome. The time between planting a banana plant and the harvest of the banana bunch is from 9 to 18 months depending on the banana type and growth conditions.
The vast majority of the bananas currently grown and consumed were not conventionally bred but are selections made over probably thousands of years from naturally occurring hybrids. Cultivated bananas are very nearly sterile and as a consequence are not propagated from seed but rather through vegetative propagation, primarily suckers as well as more recently micropropagated or tissue cultured bananas. These factors, very old selections, near sterility and vegetative propagation, mean that these bananas have not been genetically improved either for resistance or improved quality and are becoming increasing in affected by serious pests and diseases.
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