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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Overview
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1 - Accomplishments
2 - Standardized virus detection method
3 - Purple top phyoplasma
4 - Potato virus Y (PVY)
5 - Potato mop top virus (PMTV)
6 - Potato zebra chip disease
Potato zebra chip disease

Potato zebra chip disease was found for the first time in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in 2011.


Prior to 2011, the zebra chip disease (ZC) was only reported from the central United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand.  In the summer of 2011 this serious disease was first found in potatoes grown in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and caused millions of dollars in losses.  Together, these three states produce more than half of the US potatoes.  ZC disease is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted to potatoes by a small insect, the potato psyllid.  Our work has informed the potato industry in the Pacific Northwest of the presence of this important disease.  We are continuing to study this disease and the biology of the psyllid in efforts to reduce the impact of ZC on the potato industry in the future.  The photo below shows the severe tuber discoloration typical of ZC in a potato grown in Washington in 2011.


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Last Modified: 3/13/2012
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