Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Scientists Use DNA To Finger Culprit In Historic Irish Potato Famine

TUBINGEN, Germany (UPI) — Researchers in Germany say they’ve identified a unique strain of potato blight responsible for the disastrous potato famine in 19th-century Ireland.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology reported they used dried herbarium samples to decode the genome of the variety of the plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans that changed the course of Irish history.

“We have finally discovered the identity of the exact strain that caused all this havoc,” Hernan Burbano said in an institute release Tuesday.

While a strain of the fungus-like pathogen known as US-1 has long been thought to have caused the fatal outbreak, the new study suggests a strain new to science was responsible, the researchers said.

While more closely related to the US-1 strain than to other modern strains, it is unique, Burbano said.

“Both strains seem to have separated from each other only years before the first major outbreak in Europe,” he said.

In the study the researchers decoded the entire genomes of 11 historical samples of Phytophthora infestans from potato leaves collected over more than 50 years.

Gathered from Ireland, Britain, Europe and North America, the leaf samples had been preserved at the Botanical State Collection Munich and the Kew Gardens in London.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Scientists Use DNA To Finger Culprit In Historic Irish Potato Famine”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.