The 2009 late blight pandemic in the eastern United States - Causes and results

W. E. Fry, M. T. McGrath, A. Seaman, T. A. Zitter, A. McLeod, G. Danies, I. M. Small, K. Myers, K. Everts, A. J. Gevens, B. K. Gugino, S. B. Johnson, H. Judelson, J. Ristaino, P. Roberts, G. Secor, K. Seebold, K. Snover-Clift, A. Wyenandt, N. J. GrünwaldC. D. Smart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


The tomato late blight pandemic of 2009 made late blight into a household term in much of the eastern United States. Many home gardeners and many organic producers lost most if not all of their tomato crop, and their experiences were reported in the mainstream press. Some CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) could not provide tomatoes to their members. In response, many questions emerged: How did it happen? What was unusual about this event compared to previous late blight epidemics? What is the current situation in 2012 and what can be done? It's easiest to answer these questions, and to understand the recent epidemics of late blight, if one knows a bit of the history of the disease and the biology of the causal agent, Phytophthora infestans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalPlant disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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