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Microbes Infect. 2002 Nov;4(13):1369-77.

Tracking historic migrations of the Irish potato famine pathogen, Phytophthora infestans.

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Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7616, USA.


The plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans causes late blight, a devastating disease on potato that led to the Irish potato famine during 1845-1847. The disease is considered a reemerging problem and still causes major epidemics on both potato and tomato crops worldwide. Theories on the origin of the disease based on an examination of the genetic diversity and structure of P. infestans populations and use of historic specimens to understand modern day epidemics are discussed.

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