Monday, December 11, 2006 - 10:23 AM

Characterization of tomato / potato psyllid (Bactericerca cockerelli) biotypes in the United States and Mexico and their migration patterns

Brian C. Jackson, and Blake Bextine, University of Texas - Tyler, Department of Biology, 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX

The potato psyllid, Bactericerca cockerelli is becoming increasingly important as Zebra Chip (ZC) continues to cause losses to potato growers. Although the exact cause of ZC is not yet known, it may be related to the toxicity of psyllid feeding, bacteria transmitted by insect vectors, or a combination of factors. Different combinations of these factors have been shown to produce ZC-like symptoms in preliminary laboratory settings. The species has been shown to contain at least two different biotypes, which may have different toxicity profiles and different abilities to transmit bacteria. The identification of psyllids is further confused by migration of populations over long distances. The aim of this work is to (1) characterize the different biotypes of psyllids, especially in the central United States and Mexico, using CO1 and ITS sequences and ISSR fragment data (2) correlate the different populations with geographical locations at specific times to elucidate migration patterns and, (3) characterize the ability of each biotype to cause ZC symptoms. Each of these should help growers more effectively target treatments to the organisms that are doing the most damage.

Species 1: Hemiptera Psyllidae Bactericerca cockerelli (potato psyllid, tomato psyllid)

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