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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #423691

Research Project: Bio-Rational Approaches to Manage Insect Pests of Potato Crops

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22000-020-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 11, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2015

Objective 1: Develop monitoring methods for integrated pest management of potato insect pests. Objective 2: Develop bio-intensive methods to manage insect vectors of zebra chip and purple top diseases. Objective 3: Develop and apply baits or attract-and-kill control technology based on semiochemicals and toxicants.

Objective 1: Identification of the psyllid pheromone will involve: 1)olfactometer assays to determine male psyllid behavioral responses to females and female volatile chemical samples; 2) analytical chemical procedures to isolate and characterize pheromone compounds; and, 3) olfactometer and field assays to confirm pheromonal activity. Development of psyllid pheromone as a monitoring tool will be done by: 1) determining field attractiveness of pheromone; 2) comparing psyllid captures in traps over a range of pheromone release rates; 3) comparing psyllid captures in a variety of traps baited with pheromone; and 4) comparing the effectiveness of the optimized trap and pheromone lure versus the standard monitoring methods. Objective 2: Factorial experiments will determine interacting roles of insect vector density and potato plant growth stage on disease symptoms. Experiments will evaluate beet leafhoppers as vectors of the purple top disease pathogen and potato psyllid as vectors of the zebra chip disease pathogen. We will determine the time needed for an uninfected psyllid to acquire the Liberibacter pathogen from foliage, and the time needed for an infected psyllid to transmit the pathogen to an uninfected plant. We will determine the relative susceptibility of potato cultivars to zebra chip disease by comparing disease incidence and severity in varieties of potato in field cages, with timed numbers of infective potato psyllids. Objective 3: We will develop a toxicant bait for attracting and killing wireworm larvae when applied to potato fields at spring planting to provide protection of tubers at the end of the season. Baits will be tested in the field to determine efficacy against wireworms.