Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Examining a disease decimating global potato yields

29.11.2002


Nina Prokhorova, a farmer in Rogachievo, Russia, shows one of her small potatoes from her dacha garden, which has been devastated this year by drought and Colorado potato beetles. Photo: Blaine P. Friedlander Jr./Cornell News Service
Copyright © Cornell University


While many Americans will be relaxing after their Thanksgiving Day feast, many people around the world may have a shortage of food, particularly potatoes, a staple that is being seriously threatened by a disease called potato late blight.

In a news story appearing in the journal Science (Nov. 29), "Taking the Bite Out of Blight," writer Glenn Garelik examines the disease that is affecting potato production globally.

Potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans ) is the pathogen that infested Ireland’s potato fields in the 1840s, considered a major cause of the famine. Scientists had potato late blight under control in the mid-20th century, but in the past three decades late blight has spread around the globe, and the mutated funguslike pathogen has grown more tenacious than ever.



Researchers affiliated with the Cornell Eastern Europe Mexico (CEEM) program headquartered at Cornell University are working to contain the pathogen, which causes brownish or purple-black lesions. The lesions ultimately turn a once-healthy potato plant into black slime, and the tuber itself into mush. An entire field can be wiped out within a week.

In the 1990s, when the blight started seriously affecting Europe again, yields on some Russian plots were slashed by as much as 70 percent. In Russia, where potatoes are a major part of the diet for many people, particularly small-plot farmers, potato blight and other diseases and pests may have dire consequences, says K.V. Raman, executive director of the Cornell potato late blight program, one of the experts cited in the Science story.

"The conditions prevalent in today’s Russia are all too reminiscent of those of Ireland in the mid-19th century," says Raman.

Blaine P. Friedlander Jr. | Cornell NEws
Further information:
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Nov02/Blight.bpf.html

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht The inner struggle of the evening primrose: Chloroplasts are caught up in an evolutionary arms race
14.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie

nachricht Cereals use chemical defenses in a multifunctional manner against different herbivores
06.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

Im Focus: A thermo-sensor for magnetic bits

New concept for energy-efficient data processing technology

Scientists of the Department of Physics at the University of Hamburg, Germany, detected the magnetic states of atoms on a surface using only heat. The...

Im Focus: The moiré patterns of three layers change the electronic properties of graphene

Combining an atomically thin graphene and a boron nitride layer at a slightly rotated angle changes their electrical properties. Physicists at the University of Basel have now shown for the first time the combination with a third layer can result in new material properties also in a three-layer sandwich of carbon and boron nitride. This significantly increases the number of potential synthetic materials, report the researchers in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Last year, researchers in the US caused a big stir when they showed that rotating two stacked graphene layers by a “magical” angle of 1.1 degrees turns...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers measure near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors

18.03.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Nanocrystal 'factory' could revolutionize quantum dot manufacturing

18.03.2019 | Materials Sciences

Long-distance quantum information exchange -- success at the nanoscale

18.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>