|Munyaneza, Joseph - Joe|
Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2012
Publication Date: 11/4/2012
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58230
Citation: Munyaneza, J.E., Buchman, J.L., Sengoda, V.G., Goolsby, J., Ochoa, A.P., Trevino, J., Schuster, G. 2012. Impact of potato planting timing on potato zebra chip disease incidence in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Southwestern Entomologist. 37:253-262. Interpretive Summary: Zebra Chip, a new and economically important disease of potato has caused losses of millions of dollars to the potato industry. Researchers at USDA-ARS Wapato, WA, and USDA-ARS Edinburg, TX, and Texas A&M University assessed the impact of planting dates on incidence of zebra chip in potatoes in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, one of the regions severely affected by the disease. It was discovered that early planted potatoes were more affected by zebra chip than those planted later in the season. Information from this research will help growers in southern Texas minimize losses due to zebra chip by timely planting of potatoes or appropriately protecting their fields from the insect vector of the disease.
Technical Abstract: Zebra Chip (ZC), a new and economically important disease of potato in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand has caused losses of millions of dollars to the potato industry. The disease is associated with the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” (Lso) transmitted to potato by the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc). Since its U.S. initial appearance in southern Texas in 2000, ZC has caused serious damage to potato production in this state, often leading to abandonment of entire fields. A study conducted in Weslaco assessed the impact of potato planting timing on ZC incidence in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Untreated experimental potato plots were planted at different times from December to February for four years and ZC incidence was estimated at harvest in each potato growing season. Results showed that, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, early (December-January)-planted potatoes were more affected by ZC than those planted later in the season (February). The reasons behind this differential in the disease incidence are unknown; however, Lso infection rate in psyllids colonizing potatoes in the region is suspected. Information from this research will help potato growers affected by ZC in southern Texas minimize losses due to this damaging disease by timely planting potatoes or appropriately protecting their fields from colonization of the potato psyllid.