Kurt Lamour, an associate professor in the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department and a core faculty member of the Genome Science and Technology graduate program administered through UTK Life Sciences and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is coauthor (with his student Alon Savidor) of an important paper describing the genome of Phytophthora infestans, the Irish potato blight, which caused the Irish potato famine in the mid-1800s. The article is the cover story for the September 17 issue of Nature. Lamour also recently published a new book describing the genetics and genomics for this destructive group of fungal-like plant pathogens (known collectively as Oomycetes) that cause serious damage to a huge variety of plants worldwide.
In Tennessee, his research is focused on an introduced species of Phytophthora that severely limits the production of pumpkins, squash, peppers, and tomatoes, and he and his students have recently traveled to the Amazonian high jungle of Peru to study the disease on peppers in an effort to better understand how this disease is able to survive and spread.
Lamour, K. and Kamoun S. (Editors). 2009. Oomycete Genetics and Genomics: Diversity, Interactions, and Research Tools. John Wiley and Sons Inc., Hoboken, N. J., 574 pages.
Haas, B.J. et al. 2009. “Genome sequence and comparative analysis of the Irish potato famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans.” Nature 471 (7262): 393-398.
Hurtado-Gonzáles, O., Aragon-Caballero, L., Apaza-Tapia, W., Donahoo, R. and Lamour, K. 2008. “Survival and Spread of Phytophthora capsici in Coastal Peru.” Phytopathology 98: 688-694.
Alon Savidor, Ryan S. Donahoo, Oscar Hurtado-Gonzales, Miriam L. Land, Manesh B. Shah, Kurt H. Lamour and W. Hayes McDonald.” 2008. Cross-species global proteomics reveals conserved and unique processes in Phytophthora sojae and Phytophthora ramorum.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 7: 1501-1516.