Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2015
Publication Date: 8/18/2015
Citation: Swisher, K.D., Munyaneza, J.E. 2015. Zebra Chip: What is the risk of disease transmission through potato tubers?. Meeting Proceedings. Pp 71-75.
Interpretive Summary: Zebra chip is an economically devastating disease of potato that causes a reduction in quality, size, and quantity of tubers produced, and has affected potato growers in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand. Researchers at USDA-ARS Wapato,Washington determined whether the disease can be transmitted and spread through fresh or seed potato tubers. It was determined that a very small number (2%) of zebra chip infected tubers give rise to infected plants, suggesting that seed potato is not an important source of the disease. Information from this research will help the potato industry promote national and international trade of fresh and seed potato.
Technical Abstract: Zebra chip disease of potato is an economically devastating disease that causes a reduction in quality and quantity of tubers produced, and has affected growers in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand. In an effort to determine if disease transmission can occur through fresh or seed potato, a large field study was conducted at the USDA-ARS in Yakima, Washington in the 2014 growing season. The intent of the study was to determine if the pathogen attributed to the disease (‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum;’ Lso), or the vector of the pathogen (potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli), or the potato varieties common in the United States, have a role in disease transmission. Initial results indicate that both of the Lso haplotypes that cause ZC in potato can induce severe disease symptoms, regardless of the potato psyllid haplotype used to vector the Lso. Additional preliminary data suggests that emergence from ZC-symptomatic tubers is delayed compared to healthy tubers, and only 2% of the plants emerged from ZC-symptomatic tubers show aboveground ZC symptoms in the foliage. Results from this multi-year study will be important to growers of fresh and seed potatoes in areas where ZC has been reported, as it will identify the risks of spreading the disease through these tubers.