Interactions Between Solanaceous Crops and 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' Haplotypes in Relation to Infection and Psyllid Survival on the Hosts.
Additional Document Info
'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (Lso), transmitted by the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli), is the putative causal agent of potato zebra chip disease. The bacterial pathogen infects a wide range of solanaceous plants (both wild and cultivated species), among which are peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. Currently there are two commonly detected, genetically distinct haplotypes of Lso (A and B) identified from potatoes in the United States. To determine whether there are interactions between Lso haplotypes and different solanaceous hosts, experiments were conducted in the greenhouse in which pepper, potato, and tomato plants were infested with psyllids carrying Lso A, B, or an A and B mix (AB) or with psyllids free of Lso. Host plants were grown in pots in cages on the greenhouse benches and infested with six psyllids per plant. In addition, eight pepper cultivars were similarly infested for deeper understanding of host-haplotype interactions. Approximately 7 weeks after infestation, adult psyllids in each cage were counted to determine the impact of Lso haplotype-host interactions on psyllid survival and plants were sampled and tested molecularly for Lso. Individual psyllids carrying haplotypes B or AB and those free of Lso copiously reproduced on all three hosts, and leaf tissue from each plant tested positive for the respective Lso except those infested with Lso-negative psyllids. However, psyllids carrying Lso A did not survive on peppers but survived and abundantly reproduced on potatoes and tomatoes. In addition, samples from peppers infested with psyllids carrying Lso A tested negative for Lso. However, peppers infested with individual psyllids carrying Lso AB tested positive for Lso A, indicating that the presence of B may be required for infection by Lso A and psyllid survival on peppers. The different pepper cultivars infested with psyllids carrying Lso A showed similar results to the haplotype-host interaction tests, suggesting that cultivar may not be a factor in Lso A-pepper host interactions. Results from these studies suggest that Lso A may affect host selection by psyllids either for nutrition or laying of eggs. Mechanisms involved in preventing psyllid reproduction on peppers, once identified, will have significant implications for potential psyllid management.