20 August, 2008

How Bananas Defy the Laws of the Known Universe

24th March 2007

Some time ago, I stumbled upon some oddity about bananas. I could have easily checked it up somewhere, Wikipedia or else, but instead I'll share my thoughts before and thus we can all enjoy me making fun of myself while wallowing in questioning ignorance.

So what's with bananas? Well, they don't have any seeds in them. Last time I ate a banana, I couldn't figure out why they even exist. In my mind, trees produce fruits as a way to reproduce. Like, apples, there are seeds in them, and when birds or other animals eat them, they usually scatter the seeds via their pretty anuses. So that's the plant plan of trees: eat my fruits, and scatter my seeds.

That's where bananas just stump me. If there is no seed in them, what's the plan? Take my fruits and... enjoy? Is there some other way for the banana tree to spread its species? I'm totally ignorant of the technique, so far, but I'm quite curious. Could it be that the banana tree is the first being in this universe that is truly and genuinely altruistic? If so, I propose we adopt the banana as a symbol of ultimate spirituality and peace, as well as of charity and oneness. It would also mean that the universe works as one system and not as a fragmented set of smaller sets which fight for their own, but a system where each part is a part of the whole of everything!

The banana should thus be printed into a hypothetic world flag, and proudly exposed the world around. Imagine that: bananas floating on the high poles, carelessly waving in the wind! Banana world! A world where we all do things for the Big Plan of God! Hallelujah!

Now, if you know what's the matter with bananas having no seeds, please feel free to deflower my dream and inform my ignorance. The sooner, the better.

1 comment:

Onihikage said...

So, have you found out yet? I believe the approximate technique is something like the following:

A banana tree of type A produces seedless bananas when pollinated with another type A. Seedless bananas are produced from this tree and sold for a time.

Once the type A tree nears the end of its fruit-producing life, it is pollinated with a type B tree, and produces normal seeded bananas, the seeds of which are used to produce a new type A tree, genetically identical to the first. The process repeats with another type A tree as the pollinator, and we continue to eat our seedless bananas.

Explained genetically, the genotype for a seedless-producing tree (type A) would almost certainly have to be a recessive combination ss, while the tree that pollinates for seeds (type B) would have the genotype SS (for seed production). The daughter seeds would then all have the genotype Ss, and cross-pollination between those would produce some SS, Ss, and ss type seeds.

Of course, the process for seed replenishment would be ongoing, generating a stockpile of seeds for use in production (the banana production line would take seeds generated by the seed production line). I'm not a botanist and I haven't studied the matter at all, but this is my best guess as to how it could be done.

The big risk with all this (which I know to be true) is that a single disease or blight could very easily wipe out 95% of the banana population, since the species universally used because of its taste and consistency has been engineered to be so identical.