Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #384581

Research Project: Precipitation and Irrigation Management to Optimize Profits from Crop Production

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Impact of zebra chip disease and irrigation levels on potato production

item O`Shaughnessy, Susan
item RHO, HYUNGMIN - Texas A&M Agrilife
item Colaizzi, Paul
item WORKNEH, FEKEDE - Texas A&M Agrilife
item RUSH, CHARLES - Texas A&M Agrilife

Submitted to: Agricultural Water Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/8/2022
Publication Date: 4/14/2022
Citation: O'Shaughnessy, S.A., Rho, H., Colaizzi, P.D., Workneh, F., Rush, C.M. 2022. Impact of zebra chip disease and irrigation levels on potato production. Agricultural Water Management. 269. Article 107647.

Interpretive Summary: Zebra chip (ZC) virus is a relatively new disease that has a devastating impact on potato production in the western U. S., however, the reduction in tuber yield and CWP have gone unreported and it is unknown if irrigation level influences disease severity. In a two-year study, ARS (Bushland, Texas) and Texas A&M AgriLife scientists investigated the effects of three irrigation levels on ZC diseased plants and non-diseased potato plants by comparing tuber yield, seasonal crop water use, crop water use efficiency (WUE) and irrigation water use efficiency. It was determined that ZC disease significantly reduced tuber yield and WUE by 58% in the first year of the study and by 21% in the second year. However, irrigation level did not lessen disease severity. This information indicates that once areas of ZC diseased potatoes are detected within in a field, irrigations should be withheld over these areas to prevent water wastage.

Technical Abstract: Many studies on ZC disease in potatoes caused by the bacterial pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), which is transmitted by the potato psyllid, have focused on the epidemiology of the disease and the characterization of potato plants affected by the bacterial pathogen responsible for the disease. However, few studies have quantified tuber yield losses, the reduction of crop water productivity or the interaction between irrigation treatment and ZC disease severity. This two-year study investigated the main effects of ZC disease, growing season, and irrigation level and their interactions on potato production by comparing crop response of tuber yield, evapotranspiration, CWP and IWP between diseased and non-diseased plants. Tuber yield and CWP in the ZC treatment plots were significantly reduced by at least 58% in 2018 and by 21% in 2019 as compared with results in the control plots. Growing season (environmental factors) did not significantly impact tuber yield or CWP in the ZC diseased potatoes. However, growing season did affect tuber yield, evapotranspiration and CWP in the control plots. There was no interaction between irrigation level and ZC occurrence. Since irrigation did not lessen the severity of ZC disease, as soon as diseased plants are identified within a field, withholding irrigation to the affected area could improve CWP at the field level. Future studies should consider the use of spectral reflectance of the plant canopy for spatio-temporal detection of ZC disease as early as possible in the growing season.