The War Against Blue Mold

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Science  10 Oct 1980:
Vol. 210, Issue 4466, pp. 147-153
DOI: 10.1126/science.210.4466.147


An epidemic of blue mold of tobacco unexpectedly attacked crops in the United States and Canada in 1979, causing an estimated loss of almost a quarter billion dollars. The disease, caused by a fungus, apparently started in Cuba where half the crop was destroyed in 1979 and 90 percent in 1980. Control of blue mold is difficult and expensive. Resistant cultivars become susceptible within a few years. A therapeutic fungicide, metalaxyl, gives efficient control, but resistant strains of the fungus may soon appear. Blue mold is an international problem that will require the collaboration of scientists, governments, and Industries for an adequate solution.