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Researchers Have Finally Solved The Mystery Of The Irish Potato Famine
http://www.livescience.com ^ | 5-24-2013 | Denise Chow

Posted on 05/24/2013 9:45:13 AM PDT by blam

Researchers Have Finally Solved The Mystery Of The Irish Potato Famine

Denise Chow, LiveScience
May 24, 2013, 12:03 PM

The Irish potato famine that caused mass starvation and approximately 1 million deaths in the mid-19th century was triggered by a newly identified strain of potato blight that has been christened "HERB-1," according to a new study.

An international team of molecular biologists studied the historical spread of Phytophthora infestans, a funguslike organism that devastated potato crops and led to the famine in Ireland. The precise strain of the pathogen that caused the devastating outbreak, which lasted from 1845 to 1852, had been unknown.

"We have finally discovered the identity of the exact strain that caused all this havoc," study co-author Hernán Burbano, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany, said in a statement. [Microscopic Worlds Gallery: Fascinating Fungi]

Previously, a Phytophthora strain called US-1 was thought to have triggered the potato famine, but by sequencing the genomes of preserved samples of the plant pathogen, the researchers discovered that a different strain — one that is new to science — was the real culprit.

"Both strains seem to have separated from each other only years before the first major outbreak in Europe," Burbano said.

DNA detectives

The researchers studied 11 historic samples from potato leaves that were collected about 150 years ago in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe and North America.

The scientists found these ancient samples, which were preserved at the Botanical State Collection Munich and the Kew Gardens in London, still had many intact pieces of DNA. In fact, the DNA quality was so good the researchers were able to sequence the entire genome of Phytophthora infestans and its host, the potato, within just a few weeks.

"The degree of DNA

(snip)

(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...


TOPICS: Agriculture; History; Science
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; famine; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; ireland; irishpotato; potato; sourcetitlenoturl
There are over 2,000 variety of potatoes....All have their origins in Peru. When the Spanish visited Peru and took potatoes to Europe, the frequent famines there were diminished and the population 'exploded.'

Ireland is the only modern country that has a lower population today than in 1840. This is due to the the deaths and emigration caused by the Irish Potato Famine.

Sweet potatoes from Peru were already being grown in the Pacific Islands when Europeans first arrived there.

1 posted on 05/24/2013 9:45:13 AM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 05/24/2013 9:45:36 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Let me guess. Globull warming?


3 posted on 05/24/2013 9:48:04 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal and WOD defender is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
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To: blam

we all know it was George Bush’s fault.


4 posted on 05/24/2013 9:48:04 AM PDT by wny
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To: blam
"The Irish were terrible Indian fighters."

Col. Potter
5 posted on 05/24/2013 9:52:22 AM PDT by righttackle44 (Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
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To: wny
"we all know it was George Bush’s fault."

This site really needs a "like" button...
6 posted on 05/24/2013 9:53:16 AM PDT by haywoodwebb (Keep your focus on the TRUTH and we will prevail . . . One Day at a Time, Mates!)
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To: blam; Larry Lucido; F15Eagle

Parents came over here when I was eighteen. Cereal famine. Couldn’t get a bowl anywhere. Bad. ‘Tis a beautiful country though; lush rolling hills, and the peat, ah the peat.


7 posted on 05/24/2013 9:53:32 AM PDT by Gamecock ("Ultimately, Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God." ¬óR.C. Sproul)
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To: FReepers
Look! It's Spam!!!


Click The Spam And Donate

Donate Anyway

8 posted on 05/24/2013 10:12:11 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: blam

Meanwhile, the British were exporting most of Ireland’s other crops and beef leaving what many considered the surplus Irish population to starve at the time.
Sad history.


9 posted on 05/24/2013 10:14:06 AM PDT by RedMDer (You are Free Republic. There are no outside influences. Just us, all of us. Please donate today!)
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To: righttackle44
Col. Potter

Nope,it wasn't "Colonel Potter"...it was "General Steele",a character he played in one episode in Season 3 ("Henry's" last season).

10 posted on 05/24/2013 10:22:15 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: blam
Most of my ancestors came from Ireland with the rest coming from Scotland.They all left the Isles in the mid-late 1800s.My great grandfather died of “consumption” (TB) a few months before my grandmother,with her mother and siblings,got on the boat.Soon I will go to Galway to lay flowers on his grave.
11 posted on 05/24/2013 10:26:35 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: blam

A different account, posted a few days ago:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3022187/posts


12 posted on 05/24/2013 10:26:51 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring
" A different account, posted a few days ago: "

I suppose if I'd done a search I'd have discovered it.(ahem)

13 posted on 05/24/2013 10:39:32 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

bookmark


14 posted on 05/24/2013 11:42:00 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: Gay State Conservative

Cool story - get an extra flower and put it down for all of us freepers with an Irish ancestor... Then bring back a picture or two...


15 posted on 05/24/2013 12:02:03 PM PDT by GOPJ (It's Gotten So Bad for Obama Fox News Changed Its Slogan to "See. I Told You So!"- Leno)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Pretty much all of the American military at that time(1850-1900) was made up of men from the British Isles.


16 posted on 05/24/2013 12:51:14 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: blam

Where’s the fun in that?


17 posted on 05/24/2013 4:54:07 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: blam

I’m trying to think of a PC way to discuss preventing illegal Mexican immigration in light of this discovery.


18 posted on 05/24/2013 5:07:14 PM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks blam, I'm glad you had an eye out for this one.
The researchers studied 11 historic samples from potato leaves that were collected about 150 years ago in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. The scientists found these ancient samples, which were preserved at the Botanical State Collection Munich and the Kew Gardens in London, still had many intact pieces of DNA. In fact, the DNA quality was so good the researchers were able to sequence the entire genome of Phytophthora infestans and its host, the potato, within just a few weeks.
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


19 posted on 05/24/2013 6:03:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Wasn’t Herb I the Irish king who offered to do everyone’s taxes at a reasonable rate?


20 posted on 05/24/2013 6:07:12 PM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: blam


21 posted on 05/24/2013 6:07:38 PM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

a true Irish meal (I’m German/Irish).


22 posted on 05/24/2013 6:16:46 PM PDT by brivette
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To: blam

“was triggered by a newly identified strain of potato blight that has been christened “HERB-1,” according to a new study”

the famine was not caused by the potatoe blight

the same potatoe blight hit most of europe

but most of europe, though experiencing the great potatoe blight, did not experience the famine that Ireland did

British imperial policies toward Ireland created the conditions in Ireland from which the pototoe blight became so devastating in Ireland. Under British policies the potatoe, and mostly one single variety, was feeding 1/3 of the Irish population and many more were dependent on potatoe farming for income from domestic use, sale or export. Had Ireland been independent it would have had a diversified farming industry and the potatoe blight would have been no worse in Ireland than it was in the rest of Europe - a bad thing but not a famine.


23 posted on 05/24/2013 6:28:43 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: blam
The specific pathogen makes little difference: the real problem was monoculture -- adoption of a single cloned potato variety without the genetic diversity to withstand such an attack.

I grew up on a potato farm in Idaho where the Burbank Russet was (and is) the primary variety grown. It's a clone too, and while several strains exist with varying disease resistance, the old-time Russets I grew up with are now under attack by various diseases. It's hard to find good Russets for baking these days. One day not long from now they'll disappear.

The French wine industry nearly collapsed in the 19th century when their varietal grapes fell victim to a plant pathogen introduced (they think) by an aphid native to the U.S. Their industry was saved by grafting the old varieties to resistant rootstock from the U.S. Today American agriculture is strongly dependent on cloned monocultured crops. It's good that seeds of old varieties are preserved in seed banks to reintroduce greater genetic variety in case of a calamity like the Irish suffered.

24 posted on 05/24/2013 9:27:18 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: blam

Comments:
1) the population exploded because an acre of potatos provides 3 times the calories as an acre of wheat. Some suggest that the introduction of the potato made the industrial revolution possible - peasants could move off of the land into industrial locations and still be fed.
2. “Trinity” by Leon Uris describes the impact of the British laws in Ireland. For example, the law of inheritance was imposed which required equal division of a deceased father’s property among the children. This broke up Irish landowner’s holdings, and reduced the population to having small plots ... which grew potatos.
3. The vast tracts of land containing wheat and animals were owned by the British, which sold and exported them to London. However, even with the purest of intentions, it is not clear that there were enough calories in the food shipped to London to save the Irish population. And it is fairly clear that the British politicians did not really understand the magnitude of the problem until a majority of the population starved or emigrated.


25 posted on 05/25/2013 10:20:26 PM PDT by Mack the knife
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To: Gay State Conservative
*** Soon I will go to Galway to lay flowers on his grave. ***

You have to watch a TV Program named: "Single-Handed". I recently found it on Hulu Plus (Hulu Plus has a 14 day FREE TRIAL deal). It's a great show, especially if you're Irish . It's only Six Episodes but they're each an 1hr & 42min long.

Anyway, enjoy your trip to Galway and take a lot of pictures of the Countryside. But bring a warm jacket, sweater, raincoat and boots. Galway's weather is a bit on the wet & 'cool' side and it gets a tad muddy.

And because of watching that TV show I started doing a little search of my Irish family history and found 'My Clan', family crest, and its history. Turns out I come from/related to 'Irish Royalty' -- the last two Irish Kings in the 12th Century. After that Ireland's Kings were 'foreign invaders' and then Brits.

26 posted on 05/26/2013 7:00:41 AM PDT by Condor51 (Si vis pacem, para bellum.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

There must have been something climatological, political or something that happened around 1830. My ancestors from Ireland, Wales and Germany all came over then and my ancestors that had been here since 1626 moved from Maine to Illinois.


27 posted on 05/26/2013 3:08:38 PM PDT by marsh2
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To: RedMDer

Yep, the British have done a complete turn around. Now they have laws that help the dregs of society to live off of and murder law it’s abiding citizens. Oh, wait, that also now applies to the USA. /s


28 posted on 05/26/2013 4:20:34 PM PDT by Dustbunny ("Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. " Ronald Reagan)
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To: Condor51; Gay State Conservative

Joyce Country. That’s where my great grandfather came from. Dress with layers to put on and to take off. Western Ireland is beautiful.


29 posted on 05/26/2013 4:38:35 PM PDT by RedMDer (You are Free Republic. There are no outside influences. Just us, all of us. Please donate today!)
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To: Gay State Conservative
My great grandfather died of “consumption” (TB) a few months before my grandmother,with her mother and siblings,got on the boat.Soon I will go to Galway to lay flowers on his grave.

I hope it's as powerful an experience as it was for my brother. He took a month off when he retired and drove around Europe, making it down to Santander, Spain, where he went into the Birth Records office and was able to get the clerk to pull a copy of our grandfather's birth certificate (1882). Then he found the church where he was baptized and got a copy of his baptismal certificate. He said holding those two in his hands was an incredible experience.

He made copies for all four of us grandkids. :-)

30 posted on 05/26/2013 4:39:36 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (Fighting Obama without Boehner & McConnell is like going deer hunting without your accordion)
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To: JoeProBono

Corned beef is too salty for my taste.


31 posted on 05/26/2013 6:55:18 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

Low Sodium Corned Beef Brisket


32 posted on 05/26/2013 7:48:36 PM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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