Potato blight has the genome of death

THE blight that triggered the great famine in Ireland in 1845 is still the biggest disease threat to spuds worldwide – and it’s no wonder. Researchers have sequenced the genome of the mould that causes blight and found it keeps a huge arsenal of potato-destroying genes, ready to evolve around whatever defences taters can muster. On the plus side, the sequence also suggests ways to fight back. Blight is caused by an oomycete or water mould, Phytophthora infestans, related to brown algae. Sophien Kamoun of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK,
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