Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2013
Publication Date: 4/12/2013
Citation: Munyaneza, J.E., Sengoda, V.G., Aguilar, E., Bextine, B., Mc Cue, K.F. 2013. First report of 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' associated with psyllid-affected tobacco in Nicaragua. Plant Disease. 97:1244. Interpretive Summary: Liberibacter is an economically important bacterium that severely damages potato, tomato, pepper, and other solanaceous crops. This plant pathogen is transmitted to these crops by the potato psyllid, a serious insect pest in North and Central America and New Zealand. Researchers at USDA-ARS Wapato, WA and Albany, CA, University of Texas, and Zamorano University in Honduras discovered that this plant pathogen severely affects tobacco and has caused significant losses to the tobacco industry in Nicaragua. This information will help tobacco producers reduce damage due to this pathogen by effectively controlling the potato psyllid, its insect vector.
Technical Abstract: In April of 2012, tobacco plants with symptoms resembling those associated with the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” (Lso) were observed in commercial fields in several Departments in Nicaragua, including Esteli and Nueva Segovia; all cultivars grown were affected, at about 5 to 100% symptomatic plants per field. Heavy infestations of the psyllid Bactericera cokerelli, a major insect pest of potato and other solanaceous crops and vector of Lso in U.S., Mexico, Central America and New Zealand, were observed in the affected fields. Symptoms on affected plants include apical leaf curling and stunting, overall chlorosis and plant stunting, young plant deformation with cabbage-like leaves, wilting, internal vascular necrosis of stems and leaf petioles, and production of poor leaf quality.