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Zebra chip, what we know and where are we headed
Elizabeth Pierson: Texas A and M University
<div>Outbreaks of Zebra Chip (ZC) on potatoes in the Americas and New Zealand arising in the 1990’s and the rapid and devastating proliferation of Huanglongbing (HLB) on citrus elevated the recognition of '<i>Candidatus</i> Liberibacter' pathogens. ‘<i>Ca</i>. L. solanacearum’ (CLso) is the causative agent of ZC and diseases on major solanaceous crops as well as carrot and celery and is transmitted by psyllids. The epidemiology and management of CLso-associated diseases is complicated by different haplotypes of the pathogen and multiple, genetically variable psyllid vectors with different host ranges. Progress in understanding disease epidemiology and developing management strategies was facilitated by active interaction between researchers, industry, and producers. Management of potato production depends on aggressive psyllid control, albeit with few chemicals and developing resistance. Worldwide proliferation of CLso-associated diseases on current and new hosts will continue with vector range expansion. No host resistance to CLso has been discovered, though breeding for disease tolerance has met with some success. Biological control of insects, microbial agents with plant growth-promoting capabilities, and phage-based therapies targeting the pathogen are promising approaches to augment disease management. Gene silencing and CRISPR/Cas gene editing may yield insights and strategies to control insect populations and modulate host symptoms. Despite progress there is much to do.</div>

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