First report of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ and Bactericera cockerelli on potatoes in Nicaragua
In September 2011, symptoms resembling those of zebra chip (associated with ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ – Solanaceae haplotypes, EPPO A1 List) were observed in 8 potato (Solanum tuberosum) fields in the departments of Estelí and Jinotega, in Nicaragua. Affected potato plants displayed leaf chlorosis, scorching, wilting, vascular discoloration, swollen nodes, aerial tubers, twisted stems, and tubers showed internal discoloration. In these 8 potato fields (of 5 to 12 ha), the disease incidence ranged from 50 to 95%. Leaf samples and psyllids were collected from 2 fields. Total DNA was purified from the leaves of 17 symptomatic and 10 asymptomatic plants, as well as from 20 psyllid specimens. Molecular analysis confirmed the presence of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ in all symptomatic potato leaf samples and in 7 psyllids. The collected psyllids were identified (morphology, PCR) as Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Psyllidae – EPPO A1 List). This is the first time that zebra chip and its vector, Bactericera cockerelli, are reported from Nicaragua. The authors concluded that because ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ has caused significant economic damage to potatoes in the USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, this finding has significance for potato production in Central America.
The situation of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ and Bactericera cockerelli in Nicaragua can be described as follows: Present, first found in 2011, detected in a few potato fields (departments of Estelí and Jinotega).
Bextine BR, Arp A, Flores E, Aguilar EY, Schindler, Soza Gomez F, Rueda AA (2013) First report of zebra chip and ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ on potatoes in Nicaragua. Plant Disease 97 (in press), 1 p.