Submitted to: Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/19/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The potato psyllid is an important insect pest of potato and several other crops. The psyllid has recently been shown to be the vector of zebra chip, an economically important disease that has devastated potato growers in U.S., Mexico, Central America and New Zealand. Researchers at USDA-ARS Wapato, WA provided information on how to identify the psyllid and discussed its geographic distribution, biology, spread, pest significance and management. This information will assist in preventing spread of the potato psyllid to minimize damage caused by this pest.
Technical Abstract: The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, is as an economically important insect pest of potatoes, tomatoes, and other solanaceous crops in the western U.S., Mexico, Central America and New Zealand. This insect has historically been linked to psyllid yellows disease, but more recently has been shown to be the vector of a bacterium that causes zebra chip disease of potato and severely damages other solanaceous crops. Zebra chip is a new and economically important disease that has devastated potato growers in areas where the psyllid occurs, often leading to the abandonment of entire fields. The insect would put potato and other solanaceous crops at high risk, if it were introduced into new areas. Identification, geographic distribution, biology, spread, pest significance and management of this potato pest are discussed.