The Peanut Plague

A toxic fungus infects crops eaten across the developing world. Scientists are engineering a solution.

More than 10,000 years ago, somewhere in the Andean foothills between Argentina and Bolivia, two wild legume species mixed, probably with the help of some pollinating bees. Their offspring was atypical — a freak of nature that couldn’t remix with its wild ancestors and cousins. The freak plant continued to evolve, first on its own, and then by selection as farmers domesticated it for its tasty seeds that grew, not from its branches like most beans and peas, but beneath the soil. Mer…

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:

  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in.