Genetic analysis discovers origins of Irish Potato Blight

According to new genetic analysis, the origins of the Irish Potato Blight — responsible for the death of about a million people throughout Ireland in the 1840s — has been tracked back to South America and was caused by a pathogen with a particular genetic lineage, called FAM-1.

Researchers at North Carolina State University and […]

Scientists develop potatoes that ‘resist late blight’

Late blight is a plant disease that can devastate a potato crop, and was responsible for the Great Famine in Ireland in 1846 to 1852.

The disease is caused by the fungus-like organism Phytophthora infestans, a pathogen specialized to infect potato plants and, to a lesser extent, tomato plants. The pathogen is of particular concern […]

Potato famine pathogen “more virulent”

The pathogen that caused a famine that killed a million people in the 1800s is more virulent today than it was two centuries ago, researchers have found.

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Copenhagen compared genes from five 19th century strains of Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen behind the potato blight, to […]