Physalis virginiana as a Wild Field Host of Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) and ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’

Delgado-Luna et al. (2024). Plant Disease 108 (1)
Names (1)
“Liberibacter solanacearum”
Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
The potato/tomato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc), is among the most important pests of solanaceous crops as a vector of the pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso). Lso-infected psyllids often arrive in crop fields from various wild species of Solanaceae and Convolvulaceae, especially those that provide early-season hosts for the vector. Physalis species are perennial plants within the family Solanaceae with often broad geographical distributions that overlap those of B. cockerelli, yet the status of many Physalis species as hosts for B. cockerelli or Lso remains unknown. Our objective was to determine whether wild Physalis species that occur in the potato-growing region of Galeana, Nuevo León, Mexico, host B. cockerelli populations and whether they also are susceptible to Lso. Sampling was carried out in the potato-growing zone of Galeana, Nuevo León, Mexico, where unidentified Physalis spp. are common. In March to October 2021, a wild plant identified as Physalis virginiana was observed; eggs, nymphs, and adults of B. cockerelli were observed on these plants throughout the growing season, and nymphs completed development on these plants under laboratory conditions. Lso also was detected in 22 of the 93 (23.7%) wild P. virginiana plants using conventional PCR, while 13.3% of B. cockerelli adults that emerged from P. virginiana cuttings harbored the pathogen. This is the first report that P. virginiana is a host for B. cockerelli and for Lso. These results suggest that P. virginiana is a likely source of Lso-infected psyllids colonizing solanaceous crops in northeastern Mexico. The importance of P. virginiana and other wild hosts on the population dynamics of the vector and pathogen should be investigated to assist in pest management decision-making.
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