Letter | Published:

Some Electrical Differences between Healthy and Virus-infected Potato Tubers

Naturevolume 169pages973974 (1952) | Download Citation


  • An Erratum to this article was published on 23 August 1952


SUCCESSFUL electrical diagnosis of living and dead roots1 suggested that it might be possible to distinguish between healthy and virus-infected tissues by similar measurements. Related examples of the application of electro-diagnosis are the investigations of Crile2, who reported a difference in capacitance between benign and malignant tumours, and of Brazier3, who showed that thyrotoxicosis could be diagnosed by an abnormal phase angle. Measurements on similar batches of healthy and virus-infected potato tubers have shown some significant differences in their electrical properties; but no reliable method of using these differences to distinguish between tubers has so far been developed.

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  1. 1

    Greenham, C. G., and Cole, D. J., Nature, 164, 669 (1949); Aust. J. Agric. Res., 1, 103 (1950).

  2. 2

    Crile, G. W., J. Cancer Res., 9, 388 (1925).

  3. 3

    Brazier, M. A. B., J. Inst. Elect. Eng., 73, 204 (1933).

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  1. Division of Plant Industry, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Canberra, A.C.T.

    • C. G. GREENHAM
    • , D. O. NORRIS
    •  & R. D. BROCK
  2. Division of Electrotechnology, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Sydney, N.S.W.

    • A. M. THOMPSON


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