Rotted in the Ground

Genomic analysis of Phytophthora infestans, which causes potato late blight, indicates that one particular strain contributed to the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s. An international team of researchers performed shotgun sequencing of 11 herbarium samples of infected potato and tomato leaves that were collected in continental Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, and North America between 1845 and 1896 that they then compared to 15 modern strains of P. infestans.

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