Each year tiny, destructive microbes cause hundreds of billions of dollars of losses to crops, including those that we grow for food, fiber, and fuel. Today, the same deadly organism that caused the Irish Famine in the mid-1800s remains a major threat to commercial potato and tomato production around the world. Prof. Judelson studies the genetic structure of this pathogen—known as Phytophthora infestan—to find out how it forms its spores, how it infects the plant and how it acquires nutrients.

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