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NIK GRUNWALD IS PART OF RESEARCH GROUP TO DISCOVER TRUE ORIGIN OF PHYTOPHTHORA INFESTANS

In research published today in PNAS, the cause of the Irish potato famine, long thought to have derived from the Andes along with Solanum species related to the potato, actually has an origin in central Mexico. The group's findings support the hypothesis that populations found in the Andes are descendants of the Mexican populations and reconcile previous findings of ancestral variation in the Andes. Although centers of origin are well documented as centers of evolution and diversity for numerous crop plants, the number of plant pathogens with a known geographic origin are limited. This work has important implications for understanding the coevolution of hosts and pathogens, as well as for locating resistance genes that can be used to manage late blight.

See also the article from OSU News and Research Communications