Scientists Reveal The Cause Of The Irish Potato Famine | PopSci

Feed: Popular Science – Science
Posted on: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:00 PM
Author: Dan Nosowitz
Subject: Scientists Reveal The Cause Of The Irish Potato Famine

One of the most deadly pathogens in human history has been pinpointed.

It’s widely acknowledged that Phytophthora infestans, a sort of fungus-like pathogen also known as potato blight, was responsible for the mid-19th-century potato famine that reduced Ireland’s population, through death and emigration, by nearly 25 percent. But scientists have just uncovered the specific strain of this pathogen through a first-of-its kind procedure–by analyzing potato plants that have been dead for more than a hundred years.

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