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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Pathogens which threaten food security: Phytophthora infestans, the potato late blight pathogen

Yuen, Jonathan


Potato late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, is a critical disease of potato and other solanaceous crops, such as tomato. The history of late blight is, in some ways, the history of modern plant pathology. It received much attention in the mid 1800's by causing the Irish potato famine, and the pathogen played a prominent role in the development of the concept of plant disease and plant pathogens. The pathosystem has also been important in the development of pesticides that are active against plant pathogens, and has also been a model system in understanding concepts ranging from cellular processes, such as how resistance to plant pathogens functions, to large scale processes, such as implementation of regional plant disease warning systems. P.infestans has a secured a place in modern potato production, both in developed and less-developed countries.


Potato; Late blight; Economic importance; Management

Published in

Food Security
2021, volume: 13, number: 2, pages: 247-253

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology

Associated SLU-program

SLU Network Plant Protection

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science
Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)