This page was created by Heather Campbell.  The last update was by Dawn Duncan.

Star of the Sea : A Postcolonial/Postmodern Voyage into the Irish Famine

Potato Blight

Phytophthora infestans originated in the Toluca Valley in Mexico after Europeans began colonizing the Americas. The strain which caused havoc in Ireland was not isolated until 2013 in a study, “The rise and fall of the Phytophthora infestans lineage that triggered the Irish potato famine,” which mapped the offending strain’s genotype from historical plant sources. Although the strain, “HERB-1,” which caused the famine in Ireland died out in the early 20th Century, as Yoshida et al. conclude in their study, another strain, US-1, continues to harm crops around the world to this day, though to a less drastic extent than was seen during the famine.  

Timeline of the History of the Potato Blight
To navigate click on the arrows on the right and left sides or the dates at the bottom.

Works Cited
Caldwell, Roy, et al. “Monoculture and the Irish Potato Famine: Cases of Missing Genetic
Variation.” Understanding Evolution. 2016. University of California Museum of
Paleontology. Web. 3 March 2016.

Landsburg, Steven E. “Putting All Your Potatoes in One Basket: The Economic Lessons of the
Great Famine.” Slate. The Slate Group, March 13, 2001. Web. 7 March, 2016.

Reader, John. Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent. Conneticut: Yale UP, 2009.

Steadman, Ian. “Mystery Irish Potato Famine pathogen identified 170 years later.” Wired.
21 May 2013. Web. 4 March 2016.

Yoshida, Kentaro, et al. “The Rise and Fall of the Phytophthora Infestans Lineage that
Triggered the Irish Potato Famine.” eLife. 2013; 2:e00731. May 28, 2013. Web. 4
March 2016.
Researcher/Writer: Austin Gerth
Technical Designers: Heather Campbell and Lincoln Haiby

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