Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2015
Publication Date: 3/13/2015
Citation: Munyaneza, J.E. 2015. Zebra chip disease, Candidatus liberibacter, and potato psyllid: a global threat to the potato industry. American Journal of Potato Research. 92(2):230-235.
Interpretive Summary: Zebra chip, a new and economically important disease of potato, has caused losses of millions of dollars to the potato industry in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand. Information is needed to help develop effective management strategies for the disease. Researchers at USDA-ARS Wapato in Washington provided information on the history, geographic distribution, economic importance, identification, biology, epidemiology and control of zebra chip and discussed the threat posed by this disease to the potato industry. This information is essential and will assist potato researchers and producers in different parts of the world to minimize damage caused by this disease.
Technical Abstract: Zebra chip (ZC), a new and economically important disease of potato in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand, is caused by the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum”, transmitted to potato by the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli. The disease has caused millions of dollars in losses to the potato industry. Whole crops have been rejected because of ZC, occasionally leading to abandonment of entire fields. Plant growth and yield are severely affected by the disease. Chips or fries processed from ZC-infected tubers exhibit dark stripes that become markedly more visible with frying, and hence are commercially unacceptable. Additionally, the disease causes serious losses to the fresh market, tablestock and export potato industry. ZC-infected tubers generally do not sprout and if they do, produce hair sprouts, weak, or short-lived plants. Furthermore, there are indications that ZC symptoms might develop in tubers during storage. All commercial potato cultivars are susceptible to ZC, thus management tactics targeted against the potato psyllid are currently the only means to effectively manage the disease. An overview of ZC history, geographic distribution, biology, epidemiology, and management are discussed.