Source: University of California

Cathie Woteki, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, announced a grant to University of California at Riverside to research methods to better manage late blight disease in tomatoes and potatoes.

"More than 40 percent of current crop production among the top 10 food crops is lost to pests and diseases annually and that is a huge loss for farmers," Woteki said. "USDA is funding this project to help agricultural producers win the future by ensuring our country can keep producing the food needed to meet rising global demand in a sustainable way."

The $9 million project, funded by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), will develop ways to better manage late blight disease. The disease resistant genes and the appearance of fungicide-insensitive strains have raised new challenges to combat this devastating organism. The researchers will survey important pathogen traits to identify the best ways to control the disease.

Read more