Begay, Shantel

Publications (1)

Seasonal Occurrence of Potato Psyllid (Bactericera Cockerelli) and Risk of Zebra Chip Pathogen (Candidatus Liberibacter Solanacearum) in Northwestern New Mexico

Djaman et al. (2019). Insects 11 (1)
Names (2)
Liberibacter “Liberibacter solanacearum”
Insect Science
Potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) is one of the most important pests in potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) due to its feeding behavior and the transmission of a bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum) that causes zebra chip disease, altering the quality of the potato tuber and the fried potato chip or french fry. This pest is thus a threat to the chip potato industry and often requires preventive measures including the use of costly insecticides. The objectives of this research were to monitor the variation in B. cockerelli adult abundance and to evaluate the risk of zebra chip disease in northwestern New Mexico, USA. Yellow sticky traps were used to collect the pest at the Agricultural Experiment Station at Farmington, NM and in nearby commercial fields at the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) and Navajo Mesa Farms during the 2017–2019 period. The collected adult pests were analyzed at Texas A & M University for the presence of Candidatus L. solanacearum (Lso). The results showed field infestation by B. cockerelli in early June and that the population peaked during the second half of July and decreased as the potato growing season progressed. However, a second less important peak of the pest was revealed around mid- to late-August, depending on the growing season and field. While the B. cockerelli population increased linearly with average air temperature, it showed strong third order polynomial relationships with the accumulated thermal units and the Julian days. The test of B. cockerelli for the Lso infection revealed a low incidence of the pathogen varying from 0.22% to 6.25% and the infected adult B. cockerelli were collected during the population peak period. The results of this study may be helpful to potato growers in pest management decision-making and control. However, more study is needed to evaluate zebra chip disease in terms of its prevention and economic impact, and to develop economic thresholds and pest management programs for northwestern New Mexico and neighboring regions.