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Blight facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Blight refers to way plants wither when infected. It is a rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, then death of plant tissues such as leaves, branches, twigs, or flowers. Various diseases which cause the symptom are known as blights. Several notable examples are:

  • Late blight of potato, caused by the water mould Phytophthora infestans, the disease which led to the Irish potato famine
  • Southern corn leaf blight, caused by the fungus Cochliobolus heterostrophus czused a severe loss of corn in the United States in 1970.
  • Chestnut blight, caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica has nearly completely eradicated mature American chestnuts in North America.
  • Bacterial leaf blight of rice is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae.
  • Early blight of potato and tomato, caused by species of the common fungal genus Alternaria
  • Leaf blight of grasses. On leaf tissue, symptoms of blight are the initial appearance of lesions which rapidly engulf surrounding tissue.

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