Relative Abundance of Potato Psyllid Haplotypes in Southern Idaho Potato Fields During 2012 to 2015, and Incidence of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ Causing Zebra Chip Disease

Dahan et al. (2017). Plant Disease 101 (5)
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Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
Zebra chip (ZC) disease, a serious threat to the potato industry, is caused by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso). Five haplotypes (hapA to hapE) of this pathogen have been described so far in different crops, with only hapA and hapB being associated with ZC in potato. Both haplotypes are vectored and transmitted to a variety of solanaceaeous plants by the tomato/potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc). Psyllids are native to North America, and four haplotypes have been identified and named based on their predominant geographic association: Northwestern, Central, Western, and Southwestern. Although all psyllid haplotypes have been found in southern Idaho potato fields, data on relative haplotype abundances and dynamic changes in the fields over time have not previously been reported. Here, psyllid samples collected in Idaho potato fields from 2012 to 2015 were used to clarify spatial and temporal patterns in distribution and abundance of psyllid and Lso haplotypes. A shift from hapA toward hapB population of Lso was revealed during these four seasons, indicating possible evolution of Lso in Idaho fields. Although we confirmed that Western psyllids were the most abundant by far during the four seasons of observation, we also observed changes in abundance of other haplotypes, including increased diversity of psyllid haplotypes during 2015. Seasonal changes observed for the Northwestern and Central haplotypes could potentially be linked to psyllid migration and/or habitat changes. South-central Idaho exhibited more diversity in psyllid haplotypes than southwestern Idaho.
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