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Monday, May 27, 2013

Irish potato famine pathogen identified

 20 May 2013 

Irish potato famine pathogen identified

By Helen Briggs
BBC News

A potato specimen from Kew Gardens collected in 1847 

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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