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Press Release 06-125
Genome Info from "Plant Destroyers" Could Save Trees, Beans and Chocolate

Rapidly evolving genes encode substances that may debilitate plants

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Scientists sequenced two Phytophthora genomes, a group of costly plant pathogens.

Scientists have sequenced the genomes from two species of Phytophthora, a group of plant pathogens that attacks a broad range of plants including soybeans and oak trees.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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Spores of Phytophthora are dispersed by rain and wind.

When the environmental conditions are right, highly infectious spores of Phytophthora are released into the environment to be dispersed by rain and wind.

Credit: Matteo Garbelotto Lab, University of California, Berkeley


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A coast live oak infected with Phytophthora ramorum displays a canker.

A Phytophthora ramorum-infected coast live oak in Marin County, Calif. displays a canker that is characteristic of sudden oak death syndrome. The black line is the edge of the infection and marks the zone between living and dead woody tissue.

Credit: Matteo Garbelotto Lab, University of California, Berkeley


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