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Genetics science fair project:
The Genetic Diversity of Common Bean Blight Isolates from Different Geographical Areas

Science Fair Project Information
Title: The Genetic Diversity of Common Bean Blight Isolates from Different Geographical Areas
Subject: Genetics
Grade level: Middle School - Grades 7-9
Academic Level: Advanced
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: High
Awards: 1st place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair ($300)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2009
Description: This project tries to find out if are there DNA-based differences in Xap (Common bacterial blight) isolates from different geographical areas and different aggressivities of the isolates on infected bean plants. Materials and techniques used: spectrophotometer, PCR, thermocycler, UV light machine, incubator.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2009/song9r2
Short Background


Blight refers to a specific symptom affecting plants in response to infection by a pathogenic organism. It is simply a rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, then death of plant tissues such as leaves, branches, twigs, or floral organs. Accordingly, many diseases that primarily exhibit this symptom are called blights. Several notable examples are:

  • Late blight of potato, caused by the water mold Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, the disease which led to the Great Irish Famine
  • Southern corn leaf blight, caused by the fungus Cochliobolus heterostrophus (Drechs.) Drechs, anamorph Bipolaris maydis (Nisikado & Miyake) by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winslow et al., is the most severe disease of pear and also is found in apple and raspberry, among others.
  • Bacterial leaf blight of rice, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae (Uyeda & Ishiyama) Dowson.
  • Early blight of potato and tomato, caused by species of the ubiquitous fungal genus Alternaria
  • Leaf blight of the grasses

On leaf tissue, symptoms of blight are the initial appearance of lesions which rapidly engulf surrounding tissue. However, leaf spot may, in advanced stages, expand to kill entire areas of leaf tissue and thus exhibit blight symptoms.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blight

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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