Susceptibility of Physalis longifolia (Solanales: Solanaceae) to Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) and ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’

Reyes Corral et al. (2020). Journal of Economic Entomology 113 (6)
“Liberibacter solanacearum”
Ecology General Medicine Insect Science
Abstract The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc), is a major pest of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.; Solanales: Solanaceae) as a vector of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, the pathogen that causes zebra chip. Management of zebra chip is challenging in part because the noncrop sources of Liberibacter-infected psyllids arriving in potato remain unknown. Adding to this challenge is the occurrence of distinct genetic haplotypes of both potato psyllid and Liberibacter that differ in host range. Longleaf groundcherry (Physalis longifolia Nutt.) has been substantially overlooked in prior research as a potential noncrop source of Liberibacter-infected B. cockerelli colonizing fields of potato. The objective of this study was to assess the suitability of P. longifolia to the three common haplotypes of B. cockerelli (central, western, and northwestern haplotypes), and to two haplotypes of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ (Liberibacter A and B haplotypes). Greenhouse bioassays indicated that B. cockerelli of all three haplotypes produced more offspring on P. longifolia than on potato and preferred P. longifolia over potato during settling and egg-laying activities. Greenhouse and field trials showed that P. longifolia was also highly susceptible to Liberibacter. Additionally, we discovered that infected rhizomes survived winter and produced infected plants in late spring that could then be available for psyllid colonization and pathogen acquisition. Results show that P. longifolia is susceptible to both B. cockerelli and ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ and must be considered as a potentially important source of infective B. cockerelli colonizing potato fields in the western United States.
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