late blight of potato

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(potato blight)

A widespread and serious disease affecting the potato and related plants. Symptoms include the appearance of brown patches on the leaves, often with white mould on the undersides. Under damp conditions the entire foliage may collapse. Brown lesions also develop on tubers, spreading to involve the entire tuber in a dry brown rot. The disease is favoured by wet weather. It is caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans and was responsible for the Irish potato famine in the 1840s.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.

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