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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #404341

Research Project: Integrated Approach to Manage the Pest Complex on Temperate Tree Fruits

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Title: Colladonus spp. (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) vectors of X-disease: biology and management in Western United States

item CLARKE, ABIGAIL - Washington State University
item CATRON, KATLYN - Washington State University
item REYES CORRAL, CESAR - Washington State University
item MARSHALL, ADRIAN - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item ADAMS, CHRIS - Oregon State University
item Cooper, William - Rodney
item HARPER, SCOTT - Washington State University
item NOTTINGHAM, LOUIS - Washington State University
item NORTHFIELD, TOBIN - Washington State University

Submitted to: Journal of Integrated Pest Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2024
Publication Date: 3/1/2024
Citation: Clarke, A.E., Catron, K.A., Reyes Corral, C., Marshall, A.T., Adams, C., Cooper, W.R., Harper, S.J., Nottingham, L.B., Northfield, T.D. 2024. Colladonus spp. (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) vectors of X-disease: biology and management in Western United States. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 15(1):13.

Interpretive Summary: Since 2010 the US cherry and stonefruit industries have challenged by an damaging outbreak of X-disease. There is no cure for X-disease, the pathogen is controlled using insecticides to kill the leafhopper vectors of the pathogen, or by removing orchards with infected trees. X-disease has caused more the $65 million in economic losses to growers in the Pacific Northwest since 2015. Scientists at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Wapato, WA collaborated with researchers at Washington State University to review literature on the biology of the pathogen and its leafhopper vectors and to development X-disease management plans. New data on leafhopper hosts in Washington State are included in the synthesis of historical data to develop management recommendations so that growers can reduce the risk of X-disease.

Technical Abstract: The US cherry and stonefruit industries have periodically experienced devastating sporadic outbreaks of X-disease phytoplasma (XDP) since the 1930s, with an ongoing epidemic occurring since 2010. This disease is critically impacting Prunus plant species and the stone fruit industry, causing underdeveloped, bitter, and misshapen fruit on economically important crops, primarily cherries, peaches, and nectarines, making the fruit unmarketable. Trees cannot recover and eventually die if they are not removed. It takes at least one-year post-infection for visible symptoms to appear, which hinders disease management efforts. The phytoplasma, Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni, is a phloem-limited intracellular bacterium that is spread by grafting and leafhopper feeding (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Several leafhopper species are known to transmit XDP, of which Colladonus spp. are considered the most important vectors in the Western United States and are native to this region. Colladonus spp. feed and oviposit on a wide variety of broad-leafed perennial plants, including mallow, alfalfa, and clover . These plants also host the phytoplasma. In Western US, these leafhoppers have three periods of adult activity: May to June, late July to August, and October. The highest rates of pathogen transmission occur during the last two activity periods due to the high abundance of leafhoppers and a post-harvest increase of XDP titers in the trees. Using the known activity periods and host plants of the leafhoppers, growers can monitor and strategically manage the vectors, which combined with the removal of infected trees and ground-cover hosts, will help limit the spread of X-disease.