ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Scientists are trying to figure out the cause of a new plant disease in eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho that's damaging onion crops.

The Capital Press reports that Oregon State University researchers are conducting field trials to determine what's triggering onion bulb rot. The disease damages the inside of an onion while the outside looks fine. OSU Cropping Systems Extension Agent Stuart Reitz says the disease is caused by a plant pathogen but it's not clear what conditions are making onions susceptible.

Officials say the problem became more serious in 2014 and 1025. One theory is that high temperatures cause the top of the onion to not completely close, leaving a small opening where a fungal pathogen can enter.

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