Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIORATIONAL CONTROL METHODS FOR INSECT PESTS OF POTATO Title: Zebra Chip, a New Potato Disease in North and Central America, is Associated with the Potato Psyllid

Authors
item Munyaneza, Joseph
item Crosslin, James

Submitted to: European Association for Potato Research
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 2008
Publication Date: July 6, 2008
Citation: Munyaneza, J.E., Crosslin, J. 2008. Zebra Chip, a New Potato Disease in North and Central America, is Associated with the Potato Psyllid. pp 124-127. In: S.Chiru, G.Olteanu, C.Aldea, and C.Badarau (eds.), 'Potato for a Changing World". Transilvaia University of Brasov Publishing House, Brasov, Romania.

Interpretive Summary: Zebra chip (ZC) is an important and emerging potato disease that is causing millions of dollars in losses to both potato producers and processors in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America. This disease is characterized by symptoms that develop in fried chips from infected potato tubers and that make the chips commercially unacceptable. To date, the causal agent(s) and/or vectors of ZC are unknown. To increase the understanding of the role of insects in the expression of ZC, USDA-ARS scientists at Wapato and Prosser, WA and Weslaco, TX, conducted controlled potato psyllid exposure and exclusion experiments using cages in the greenhouse and field in Washington State and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. A strong association was found between the potato psyllid and ZC. This information will help potato growers in ZC affected areas minimize damages caused by this disease by developing effective monitoring and management strategies targeted against this insect pest.

Technical Abstract: Zebra chip (ZC) is an important and emerging potato disease that is causing millions of dollars in losses to both potato producers and processors in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America. This disease is characterized by symptoms that develop in fried chips from infected potato tubers and that consist of a striped pattern of necrosis in tuber cross-section. ZC plant symptoms resemble those caused by potato purple top and psyllid yellows diseases. To date, the exact causal agent(s) and/or vectors of ZC are unknown. However, a survey of insects associated with the potato crop in Texas and Mexico indicated that the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc), was the most common and abundant insect in all of the ZC-affected potato fields. To increase the understanding of the role of the potato psyllid and phytoplasmas in the expression of ZC, controlled psyllid exposure and exclusion experiments using cages were conducted in the greenhouse and field in Washington State and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Also, potato plants and tubers exhibiting ZC symptoms were tested for phytoplasmas by PCR. Results indicated that there was a strong association between the potato psyllid and ZC. Plants exposed to psyllids developed typical ZC symptoms in both raw tubers and fried chips. No single potato plant in the cages or greenhouse rooms without psyllids (controls) showed ZC symptoms in raw tubers or fried chips, suggesting that the observed ZC symptoms were due to psyllid damage. No phytoplasmas were detected in plants or tubers with ZC symptoms, suggesting that these pathogens are not involved in this potato disease.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page