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POSTERS: Pathogen-vector/insect interactions

Evaluation of “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” induced effects on the feeding behavior of Bactericera cockerelli by two distinct haplotypes
Ismael Badillo-Vargas - Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a significant pest of potatoes throughout Central and North America, as well as New Zealand. Crucially, this psyllid is the vector of the fastidious bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” (Lso), which is the causative agent of diseases in several solanaceous crops, including the economically important zebra chip disease of potatoes. Currently, five Lso haplotypes have been identified, two of which (LsoA and LsoB) are exclusively transmitted by potato psyllids in their shared geographic range within the Americas. However, relatively little is known about the interactions of either Lso haplotype with its plant and insect hosts, due to its fastidious nature. In these studies, we performed 8-hour recordings using the electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique to elucidated the feeding behavior of Lso-infected (LsoA or LsoB) and non-infected psyllids. Critically, these data improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of Lso in its insect vector and provide new information concerning Lso-potato psyllid interactions that ultimately benefit pathogen transmission of only one Lso haplotype.