Culture Magazine

Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Identified

By Gerard @presurfer
Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Identifiedimage credit: Wally Gobetz cc
Scientists have used plant samples collected in the mid-19th Century to identify the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. A plant pest that causes potato blight spread to Ireland in 1845 triggering a famine that killed one million people.
DNA extracted from museum specimens shows the strain that changed history is different from modern day epidemics, and is probably now extinct. Other strains continue to attack potato and tomato crops around the world.

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