Scientists examined leaves dating from the Irish potato famine to unlock the genome of the blight behind the disaster.

A potato leaf specimen from the Kew Garden herbarium, collected in 1847, during the height of the Irish famine, provided a crucial DNA sample that helped unlock the genome of the blight that caused widespread starvation and wholesale migration in 19th Century Ireland.
la-genome-potato-famine-20130520-001

( Marco Thines/Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung / May 20, 2013 )

A potato leaf specimen from the Kew Garden herbarium, collected in 1847, during the height of the Irish famine, provided a crucial DNA sample that helped unlock the genome of the blight that caused widespread starvation and wholesale migration in 19th Century Ireland.

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