Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #401787

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: Physalis virginiana as a wild field host of Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) and Liberibacter solanacearum

Author
item DELGADO-LUNA, CAROLINA - Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro
item Cooper, William - Rodney
item QUINTANILLA, JOSE - Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro
item HERNANDEZ-JUAREZ, AGUSTIN - Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro
item SANCHEZ-PENA, SERGIO - Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2023
Publication Date: 7/24/2023
Citation: Delgado-Luna, C., Cooper, W.R., Quintanilla, J.A., Hernandez-Juarez, A., Sanchez-Pena, S.R. 2023. Physalis virginiana as a wild field host of Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) and Liberibacter solanacearum. Plant Disease. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-02-23-0350-RE.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-02-23-0350-RE

Interpretive Summary: Potato psyllid is the vector of the pathogen that causes zebra chip disease of potato. The psyllid arrives in crop fields from non-crop weedy hosts, which are undefined in many potato growing regions of North America. Researchers at the USDA-ARS in Wapato, WA collaborated with scientists at the Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro in Saltillo, Mexico to identify weedy hosts of potato psyllid and the zebra chip pathogen in northeastern Mexico. They provided the first report that Physalis virginiana is a host for potato psyllid and for the zebra chip pathogen. They also found that this weed emerges several weeks before crops, providing psyllids with an early season host. These results will be used by researchers and growers in Saltillo Mexico to help determine risk for zebra chip disease and to develop areawide management of potato psyllid and zebra chip.

Technical Abstract: The potato/tomato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc), is among the most important pests of solanaceous crops, as vector of the pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso). Lso-infected psyllids often arrive in crop fields from various wild species of Solanaceae and Convolvulaceae, especially those that provide early-season hosts for the vector. Physalis species are perennial plants within the Solanaceae with often broad geographical distributions that overlap those of B. cockerelli, yet the status of many Physalis species as hosts for B. cockerelli or Lso remains unknown. Our objective was to determine whether wild Physalis species that occur in the potato-growing region of Galeana, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, host B. cockerelli populations, and whether they are also susceptible to Lso. Sampling was carried out at the potato-growing zone of Galeana, Nuevo León, Mexico, where unidentified Physalis sp. are common. In March–October 2021, a wild plant identified as Physalis virginiana was observed, eggs, nymphs, and adults of B. cockerelli were observed on these plants throughout the growing season, and nymphs completed development on these plants under laboratory conditions. Lso was also detected in 22 of the 93 (23.7%) wild P. virginiana plants using conventional PCR, while 13.3% of B. cockerelli adults that emerged from P. virginiana cuttings harbored the pathogen. This is the first report that P. virginiana is a host for B. cockerelli and for Lso. These results suggest that P. virginiana is a likely source of Lso-infected psyllids colonizing solanaceous crops in northeastern Mexico. The importance of P. virginiana and other wild hosts on the population dynamics of vector and pathogen should be investigated to assist on pest management decision-making.