[permaculture] Genome of Irish potato famine pathogen decoded | Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lflj at bellsouth.net
Wed Sep 9 18:21:58 EDT 2009
Genome of Irish potato famine pathogen decoded | Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Genome of Irish potato famine pathogen decoded
Findings yield deep insights into the pathogen’s remarkable adaptability, suggest a “two-speed” genomic strategy that
enables it to outwit plant hosts
By Broad Communications
Published September 9, 2009
A potato plant infected with Phytophthora infestansA potato plant infected with Phytophthora infestans.Photo courtesy of
W.E. Fry, Cornell University
A large international research team has decoded the genome of the notorious organism that triggered the Irish potato
famine in the mid-19th century and now threatens this season’s tomato and potato crops across much of the US.
Published in the September 9 online issue of the journal Nature, the study reveals that the organism boasts an unusually
large genome size — more than twice that of closely related species — and an extraordinary genome structure, which
together appear to enable the rapid evolution of genes, particularly those involved in plant infection. These data
expose an unusual mechanism that enables the pathogen to outsmart its plant hosts and may help researchers unlock new
ways to control it.
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