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By James G. Horsfall (Eds.)

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22 J A M E SG . H O R S F A L L AN D E L L I S B . COWLIN G A. L a t e Bligh to f Potatoe s an d Worl d Wa rI Carefoot and Sprott (1967) describe how late blight of potatoes helped the British defeat the Germans in World War I. Bordeaux mixture, that holy water of plant pathology, was discovered in France in 1882. This complex mixture of copper sulfate and lime was just the tool needed to save the potato from disease and the people who depended on the potato from starvation. When potatoes are anointed with Bordeaux mixture, they are protected from blight and the people are saved from hunger.

The subsystem, disease (see Table I ) , can b e seen as the interaction between a single host plant and a pathogen. The end result of this interaction is a disease lesion in a single host plant. The subsystem, disease, also can be seen as the interaction between a population of host plants and a population of pathogens. The end result of this interaction is an epidemic. Development of an epidemic requires the interaction of all the elements in subsystems, sporulation, spore dispersal, infection, etc.

The sterility is cytoplasmically inherited. By the end of the 1960's essentially all the corn from Miami to Maine and Minnesota had been produced from so-called male-sterile cytoplasm. Suddenly there appeared a new strain ofHelminthosporium maydis that flourished on sterile cytoplasm. The epidemic started in Florida in the late winter of 1970 and spread northward with the greening wave of corn, reaching the northern limits of the crop in September. Some 15% of the nation's corn crop was deĀ­ stroyed.

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