Submitted to: Plant Health Progress
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2009
Publication Date: March 17, 2010
Citation: Crosslin, J., Munyaneza, J.E., Brown, J.K., Liefting, L. 2010. Potato zebra chip disease: a phytopathological tale. Plant Health Progress. http://www.apsnet.org/online/feature/zebra/PlantHealthProgress_Zebra.pdf.
Interpretive Summary: Zebra chip disease is an economically important disease of potatoes used for making potato chips. Chips made from diseased potatoes fry very dark and are unacceptable. The disease has been associated with an insect, the potato psyllid, and recently a bacterium has been identified that actually causes the disease. This review article discusses the history of research on this disease and the involvement of the potato psyllid and the bacterium with this new disease.
Potato zebra chip (ZC) disease is a relative newcomer to the world of important potato diseases. First reported in Mexico in the 1990s, by 2004-2005 the disease was causing serious economic damage in parts of Texas. ZC is now widespread in the western United States, Mexico, Central America, and was recently reported in New Zealand. By 2006, there seemed to be an association between ZC and the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli). The exact nature of the relationship, however, has only recently been identified by the discovery of a new Candidatus Liberibacter bacterium that is transmitted to potatoes, tomatoes, and other solanaceous hosts by the potato psyllid. This review examines the history of this disease, the association with the potato psyllid, the host range, and recent research into the bacterial pathogen.