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Oral: The Impact of Vector-Borne Bacteria Pathogen on Associated Hosts


The impact of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ and its insect vector on potato production in New Zealand.
A. PITMAN (1), J. Dohmen-Vereijssen (2), N. Agnew (2), P. Wright (2), F. Shah (2), S. Thompson (2) (1) The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research, New Zealand; (2) The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research, New Zealand

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The bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (cLso) is vectored by Bactericera cockerelli, commonly known as the Tomato potato psyllid (TPP). The resulting Zebra Chip complex, which recently emerged on potato in New Zealand, is associated with both reduced crop yield and loss of quality. The interaction between insect and bacterium is intricate, however, producing highly variable symptoms in the paddock that make management decisions difficult. Here, we present our data from field and glasshouse trials in New Zealand, which were established to dissect how TPP, cLso and their interaction can affect the production of seed, table and processing potato crops. In particular, we will discuss the impact of seed tuber-borne inoculum of cLso and how the presence or otherwise of this bacterium in insect populations may influence the severity of disease observed in the field, depending on the timing of infection. Our results will be discussed in relation to the implementation of seed certification as well as Zebra Chip management programmes in New Zealand and overseas.