Population Dynamics of Released Potato Psyllids and their Bacteriliferous Status in Relation to Zebra Chip Incidence in Caged Field Plots. Academic Article uri icon


  • Potato psyllids vector 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (Lso), the putative causal agent of potato zebra chip (ZC). Currently, sticky traps are the primary psyllid monitoring tools used by growers for making management decisions. However, the reliability of sticky traps in predicting psyllid numbers in potato fields has always been questioned. In 2013 and 2014, experiments were conducted in covered field plots at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Bushland to investigate the relationships among initial psyllid numbers, psyllids captured on sticky traps and their Lso status, and zebra chip incidence. Three densities of Lso-positive psyllids (5, 15, or 30/cage) were released under 2-week-old potato canopies with four replications in plot sizes of 7.6 to 9 m by 5 rows. Psyllids were released under the first plant in the center row and monitored weekly with a yellow sticky trap from the opposite end. Number of plants with zebra chip symptoms also was counted weekly beginning one month after infestation with psyllids. The total number of psyllids captured on sticky traps and disease incidence levels generally corresponded to the levels of psyllid density treatments (5 < 15 < 30), but the differences became more apparent toward the end of the experiments. Psyllid numbers in the different density treatments fluctuated more or less in synchrony over time, which appeared to reflect periodic emergence of new generations of psyllids. Initially, all captured psyllids tested positive for Lso. However, the proportions of psyllids testing positive declined dramatically after a few weeks, which suggested that the new generations of psyllids were devoid of Lso. Over all, less than 50% of captured psyllids tested positive for the pathogen. The decline in proportions of psyllids testing positive for Lso following successive generations has significant relevance to field situations and may partly explain why there are generally low percentages of Lso-positive psyllids under field conditions.

published proceedings

  • Plant Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Workneh, F., Paetzold, L., Rashed, A., & Rush, C. M.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Workneh, F||Paetzold, L||Rashed, A||Rush, CM

publication date

  • August 2016