Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385308

Research Project: New Technologies and Strategies for Managing Emerging Insect Pests and Insect Transmitted Pathogens of Potatoes

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Title: A new picorna-like virus identified in populations of the potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli

item DAHAN, JENNIFER - University Of Idaho
item Cooper, William - Rodney
item MUNYANEZA, JOSEPH - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item KARASEV, ALEXANDER - University Of Idaho

Submitted to: Archives of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/4/2021
Publication Date: 10/27/2021
Citation: Dahan, J., Cooper, W.R., Munyaneza, J.E., Karasev, A.V. 2021. A new picorna-like virus identified in populations of the potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli. Archives of Virology. 167:177-182.

Interpretive Summary: Potato psyllid is a pest of potato and tomato as a vector of the pathogen that causes zebra chip disease. New methods that are safe for consumers and the environment are needed to effectively control potato psyllid and zebra chip disease. Researchers at the University of Idaho and USDA-ARS in Wapato, WA discovered a new virus named BcPLV that infects potato psyllids. BcPLV, along with a related virus that infects the Asian citrus psyllid, form a new genus which the researchers provisionally named Psyllidivirus. Future research on BcPLV will test whether this virus can provide biological control of potato psyllid to prevent zebra chip disease and reduce the need for chemical insecticides

Technical Abstract: Zebra chip (ZC) disease of potato associated with the non-culturable bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, has seriously affected potato production in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and New Zealand for the past 20 years. The bacterium is transmitted by the potato/tomato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae), which is currently controlled with insecticide treatments; more environmentally friendly management options are desirable. The objective of this study was to identify and investigate whether potato psyllid endosymbionts, including viruses could be used as biocontrol agents of this insect pest. A new picorna-like virus, tentatively named Bactericera cockerelli picorna-like virus 1 (BcPLV-1), was discovered in three B. cockerelli populations maintained at USDA-ARS Wapato and originally collected from Washington State, Texas, and in Arizona, through the use of high-throughput sequencing with subsequent confirmation by RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing for the Washington isolate. BcPLV-1 has a 9,939-nt genome encoding a single 2,947-aa polyprotein and is related to the Diaphorina citri picorna-like virus (DcPLV) found in the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri populations on three continents. Based on their genome organization and phylogenies of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domains, both BcPLV and DcPLV are proposed to comprise a new genus, provisionally named Psyllidivirus, within the family Iflaviridae