Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

AgriLife Research zeroes in on potato disease insect

28.06.2012
Analysis of psyllid migration could help producers with management decisions

Do potato psyllids migrate from one location to the next, starting in northern Mexico and moving northward as the potato season progresses, or are psyllid populations local?

Knowing whether the insects are migratory or local could help more efficiently manage the insects which are increasingly inflicting damage on the country's potato industry, according to scientists working on the project.

A study that is being done as a part of the national Zebra Chip Specialty Crop Research Initiative involves Dr. Arash Rashed, Texas AgriLife Research vector ecologist, and Dr. Charlie Rush, AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Amarillo and lead on the national initiative.

The bacterial pathogen carried by the psyllid is Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum. When the psyllid feeds on a potato plant, the bacteria is transmitted into the plant and causes the disease known as zebra chip of potato, Rush said.

While it has no effect on human health, zebra chip can cause entire loads of potatoes to be rejected by the potato chip industry because of the negative effect it has on chips and fries, which appear as burned when fried, he said.

"It is generally believed that psyllids migrate from Mexico to the Canadian border," Rashed said. "While that is a possibility, we want to see if there are local populations and if there are winter breeding sites."

He said through field, greenhouse and laboratory studies, and in collaboration with potato producers and other scientists, they are studying various aspects of pathogen-plant-vector interactions. One of these studies is addressing the effects of natural vegetation, topography, temperature fluctuations and air currents on psyllid populations and their movement pattern.

"We have set up traps in Pearsall, Seminole and Kermit, Springlake, Bushland and Dalhart," Rashed said. "We monitor changes in psyllid numbers in natural vegetation around the potato fields. We also test wild plants for their infection status, with the objective to identify pathogen reservoirs during winter when the cultivated host is absent."

He said initially they saw psyllids in Pearsall, but not Olton and Springlake. Then they began seeing more than a thousand on traps from those regions, an unusually high number.

"Psyllid numbers, however, dropped in natural vegetation during April and May," Rashed said. "This coincided with potato-emergence time, when psyllids began to infest field edges. We don't know if it was a one-time thing, or a yearly reoccurring phenomenon.

"Our survey will continue throughout the next year to address this question," he said.

"We also evaluate the percentage of insects that are carrying the pathogen," Rashed said. "Although only a low percentage of psyllids are actually carriers, if the population is high, it also means there are a lot of positive psyllids."

Moreover, he said, the damage caused by psyllids is not just through transmitting the pathogen as they also induce another condition in potato plants, called "psyllid yellows," by simply feeding on the plant tissue.

While it is too early to make any conclusions on what environmental factors affect the populations, he said they believe early spraying of the fields and seed treatments are the most reasonable way to lower the impact.

Other control approaches such as eliminating volunteer potatoes, which can be ideal hosts for psyllids prior to cultivated potato emergence, need to be integrated to increase the effectiveness of chemical control early in the season, Rashed said.

Dr. Charlie Rush | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Raiding the rape field
23.05.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>