Fighting plant disease at warm temperatures keeps food on the table [VIDEO]
- Nov 27, 2017
- Fundamental Research
- Igor Houwat, Bethany Huot
Plant disease is one of the most important causes of crop loss worldwide, and pathogenic bacteria and unfavorable climate are two major culprits.
Sometimes, climate and bacteria come together, with devastating consequences.
One of the best historical examples of this is the Irish Potato Famine. Beginning in 1845, Ireland experienced the “perfect storm” of unusually cool, damp weather that provided prime growing conditions for an exotic pathogen that destroyed the potato crop. With their primary food source ravaged by disease, a million Irish people died from the ensuing famine.
On the other end of the thermometer, warmer temperatures also can cause extensive crop loss.