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 How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>