The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli Sulc, also known as tomato psyllid, is a serious pest of solanaceous plants. Its host selection criteria are poorly understood. In this study, we tested whether the Solanum habrochaites (PI127826), a wild solanaceous plant known for its property to repel whiteflies, was repellent to potato psyllids. Using a combination of nonchoice assays and choice assays on different psyllid stages, we demonstrated that S. habrochaites is both repelling and toxic to potato psyllids compared with Solanum lycopersicum. However, those properties were not sufficient to avoid transmission of the plant bacterial pathogen “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” vectored by potato psyllids, the causative agent of potato zebra chip disease. However, a lower bacterial transmission rate to S. habrochaites was observed compared with S. lycopersicum.
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Vol. 107 • No. 3