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1 December 2011 Effects of Liberibacter-Infective Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) Density on Zebra Chip Potato Disease Incidence, Potato Yield, and Tuber Processing Quality
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Abstract

In plant pathosystems involving insect vectors, disease spread, incidence, and severity often depend on the density of the vector population and its rate of infectivity with the disease pathogen. The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc), has recently been associated with zebra chip (ZC), an emerging and economically important disease of potato in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand. “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum,” a previously undescribed species of liberibacter has been linked to the disease and is transmitted to potato by B. cockerelli. Experiments were conducted under laboratory and field conditions to determine the impact of B. cockerelli density on ZC incidence, potato yield, and tuber processing quality. Insect densities ranging from one to 25 liberibacter-infective psyllids per plant were used during the experiments. Results showed that a single adult potato psyllid was capable of inoculating liberibacter to potato and causing ZC disease after a 72-h inoculation access period and was as damaging as 25 psyllids per plant. In addition, ZC-diseased plants showed a sharp reduction in tuber yield but the disease response was independent of the density of psyllids. Furthermore, both glucose and sucrose were found to have highly elevated concentrations in ZC-diseased potato tubers compared with noninfected ones and psyllid density did not vary the response. The high reducing sugar concentrations found in ZC-infected potato tubers are believed to be responsible for browning and reduced quality in processed ZC-infected tubers. This information could help ZC-affected potato producers in making effective management decisions for this serious disease.

Jeremy L. Buchman, Blaine E. Heilman, and Joseph E. Munyaneza "Effects of Liberibacter-Infective Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) Density on Zebra Chip Potato Disease Incidence, Potato Yield, and Tuber Processing Quality," Journal of Economic Entomology 104(6), 1783-1792, (1 December 2011). https://doi.org/10.1603/EC11146
Received: 6 May 2011; Accepted: 1 August 2011; Published: 1 December 2011
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