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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #433137

Research Project: Identifying Non-Crop Sources of Infective Potato Psyllids in South Texas

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22000-021-19-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2017
End Date: May 31, 2020

Objective:
Examine non-crop species in south Texas for presence of potato psyllid, and determine whether the psyllids are carrying the zebra chip pathogen. Examine non-crop species for presence of psyllids other than potato psyllid, and determine whether these species carry the zebra chip pathogen; determine which of these other psyllid species also occur in potato fields.

Approach:
We will monitor Lycium as well as perennial Solanaceae known to support potato psyllid in other regions, focusing on Nicotiana (wild tobacco), Physalis (ground cherry), and Solanum (nightshades). Psyllids will be collected from stands of non-crop species and from potatoes that are growing on the grounds of the Texas A&M research farm in Weslaco. Collection methods will include visual inspection of leaves (for eggs and immatures), D-vac, and yellow sticky cards. Monitoring will emphasize the October-May interval, to include the period preceding emergence of the potato crop, through crop development. Additional sampling of non-crop plants will be done in late spring, mid-summer, and late-summer, to assess the importance of those plants for psyllids during intervals the potato crop is not available. Subsamples of potato psyllid from non-crop plants will be tested for presence of the zebra chip pathogen using standard PCR methods. Unidentified psyllids from non-crop species and potato identified and representative specimens will be mounted on slides and kept as vouchers. The remaining specimens will be assayed for presence of the zebra chip pathogen using standard PCR methods.