A research team has identified a virus infecting Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen causing late blight in potatoes and tomatoes, that appears to increase the pathogen's ability to cause the disease.
Recent research at the James Hutton Institute suggests that limited genetic differences in potato lineages has left British and American spuds vulnerable to late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine.
In an effort to combat diseases which have been hampering potato yields for the past two years in Dedza, International Potato Centre (CIP) recently handed over disease resistant Irish potato seeds to ten farmers in the district.
Plant breeders and geneticists of Cornell University have released more than 50 potato varieties since 1908. Now they are expanding their efforts to make more wild potato seeds available to potato breeders around the world.