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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #177889


item Munyaneza, Joseph - Joe
item HAMM, P
item Upton, Jeffrey

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2007
Publication Date: 2/29/2008
Citation: Munyaneza, J.E., Jensen, A.S., Hamm, P.B., Upton, J.E. 2008. Seasonal Occurrence and Abundance of Beet Leafhopper in the Potato Growing Region of Washington and Oregon Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley. American Journal of Potato Research 85:77-84.

Interpretive Summary: The beet leafhopper was found to be the major vector of the beet leafhopper transmitted virescence agent (BLTVA) phytoplasma, causal agent of the potato purple top disease that recently occurred in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon and caused significant losses to the potato industry in the area. Little is known on the ecology and biology of this economically important insect pest in this region. Leafhopper sampling was conducted in 2003 and 2004 growing seasons in the Columbia Basin to determine the seasonal occurrence and abundance of the beet leafhopper. The study was conducted by researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the Washington State Potato Commission and Oregon State University. The beet leafhopper was found to be abundant in the study area and moved to commercial potato fields from weeds in the vicinity in early summer. Several other economically important leafhoppers species were found in the study area. Information from the present study will help growers in the Columbia Basin make effective management decisions to reduce incidence of leafhopper transmitted diseases in potatoes and other vegetable crops by monitoring leafhoppers and making insecticide applications at the appropriate times.

Technical Abstract: In 2003 and 2004, leafhopper sampling was conducted in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon to determine the seasonal occurrence and abundance of the beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus Baker, the primary vector of the potato purple top disease in this major potato producing region of the United States. Leafhoppers were sampled using sweep nets and yellow sticky traps at weekly intervals in and around potato fields throughout the Columbia Basin from early spring to late fall. Leafhopper species in the samples were sorted, identified, and counted. The beet leafhopper was very abundant in weeds near potato fields from mid-April to mid-October and had at least 3 generations per year. The beet leafhopper moved into potato fields sometime in mid-May and was present in potatoes throughout the remaining of the growing season. This leafhopper was more abundant in potatoes in early summer than in late summer, suggesting that potatoes more likely are infected with the purple top disease during this time of the growing season; however, it is not clear how far into the growing season that potato infection occurs. Several other leafhopper species were found to be abundant in the study area and included several economically important species such as Macrosteles spp., Ceratagallia spp., and Colladonus spp. Most of the leafhopper species found in weeds in the vicinity of potatoes were also present within potato fields.