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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313153

Title: A new problem and old questions: potato psyllid in the Pacific Northwest

item Horton, David
item Cooper, Rodney - William
item Munyaneza, Joseph - Joe
item Swisher Grimm, Kylie
item ECHEGARAY, ERIK - University Of Oregon
item MURPHY, ALEXZANDRA - University Of Oregon
item RONDON, SILVIA - University Of Oregon
item WOHLEB, CARRIE - Washington State University
item WATERS, TIM - Washington State University
item JENSEN, ANDREW - Washington State Potato Foundation

Submitted to: American Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2015
Publication Date: 12/8/2015
Citation: Horton, D.R., Cooper, W.R., Munyaneza, J.E., Swisher, K.D., Echegaray, E., Murphy, A., Rondon, S., Wohleb, C., Waters, T., Jensen, A. 2015. A new problem and old questions: potato psyllid in the Pacific Northwest. American Entomologist. 61(4):234-244.

Interpretive Summary: Zebra chip, an economically important disease of potato in the United States, is transmitted by the potato psyllid. Researchers at USDA-ARS Wapato in Washington, in collaboration with scientists from Washington State University, Oregon State University, and the Washington State Potato Commission, determined a possible source of potato psyllids colonizing potato fields in this major potato growing region. It was discovered that bittersweet nightshade, an introduced weed of widespread abundance in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, is an important winter and spring reservoir of potato psyllid. This information could help potato growers reduce establishment of zebra chip in their fields by allowing them to monitor and to control potato psyllid in early spring when the psyllid resides on the nightshade host plant

Technical Abstract: Managing zebra chip disease in the potato growing regions of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho is complicated by confusion about the geographic source of the insect vector (potato psyllid) as it colonizes potato fields in these growing regions. Not knowing the source of the vector makes it difficult for growers in these northern growing regions to anticipate when (seasonally) the insect will be arriving in fields. We show that this confusion extends as far back as the early- to mid-1900’s. We propose that difficulties in determining the source of psyllids in northern growing regions has been caused by poor understanding of the psyllid’s overwintering biology, combined with a lack of information on how overwintered psyllids survive in early spring before the potato crop has germinated. Our recent discovery that a perennial species of weedy Solanum (bittersweet nightshade; S. dulcamara) is a winter and early spring host of potato psyllid may substantially answer questions about the psyllid’s continued existence in northern growing regions.