Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2010
Publication Date: 9/15/2010
Citation: Munyaneza, J.E. 2010. Psyllids as vectors of emerging bacterial diseases of annual crops. Southwestern Entomologist. 35(3):471-477. Interpretive Summary: Psyllids have recently become a major concern because of their vectoring of newly emerging diseases to potato, tomato, pepper, and carrot crops in U.S. and other countries. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory identified which psyllid species are harmful to these crops and investigated how these insects transmit the diseases. It was determined that the potato psyllid and carrot psyllid were involved in transmitting diseases that threaten potato and carrot production, respectively. Information from these studies will help potato and carrot producers develop effective management strategies for these economically important diseases by controlling these insect pests.
Technical Abstract: Psyllids are important pests of agricultural crops worldwide. These insects may cause damage to plants by direct feeding and/or vectoring plant pathogens. Psyllid-transmitted bacterial diseases are increasingly becoming important in perennial and annual crops. Several reports have shown that the fastidious bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’, vectored by at least four psyllid species, is associated with newly-emerging and economically important diseases of crops, including Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease in citrus and zebra chip in potatoes. HLB is vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kumayama and the African citrus psyllid, Trioza erytreae Del Guercio, whereas zebra chip is vectored by the tomato/potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli Sulc. Recently, ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ has been associated for the first time with the carrot psyllid, Trioza apicalis Förster, and carrot plants affected by this insect in northern Europe. An overview of psyllid species vectoring bacterial diseases to annual crops, with emphasis on B. cockerelli and T. apicalis, is presented herein.