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Unformatted text preview: look for the places where bananas were domesticated. The oldest remains, ~7000 years old, have been found in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Meet the parents
Meet Although some 30 species of wild Musa Although some 30 species of wild have been identified from the Pacific to India, the majority of today’s bananas are related to either Musa acuminata or Musa balbisiana or both. Domestication Domestication Domestication diverted the original function of the banana, which is to deliver seeds. Once in a while, fruits with more flesh than seeds appeared by natural mutation and were nurtured by farmers. When acuminata and balbisiana bananas crossed paths, carried by migrating peoples, all sorts of edible varieties were produced. Even though the new varieties were sterile, they continued to change through mutations. By propagating their favorite mutants, farmers created bananas to suit all sorts of tastes and uses. The inside of an unripe wild-type
banana showing numerous large,
hard Seed-packed fruit of Musa balbisiana, one
of ancestors of the edible bananas.
of Conserving Diversity
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- Fall '11