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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT FOR ALASKA AGRICULTURE Title: Potential leafhopper vectors associated with potatoes in Alaska

Authors
item Pantoja, Alberto
item Hagerty, Aaron
item Emmert, Susan
item Munyaneza, Joseph

Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2008
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: In the conterminous USA, the presence of viral diseases, phytoplasmas and their insect vectors are considered severe limiting factors for seed potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production. Diseases caused by phytoplasmas have become increasingly important in the Pacific Northwest, with recent outbreaks of potato purple top disease in Washington and Oregon causing severe yield losses and reduction in tuber quality in potato. In the Columbia Basin, the potato purple top disease is associated with the Columbia Basin purple top phytoplasma vectored by the beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus Baker, while in Mexico, and other potato producing areas of the US, purple top is associated with aster leafhoppers in the genus Macrosteles. Little is known about the biology of agricultural insect pests in the circumpolar region. Despite the publication of a few agronomic and taxonomic works, little is known about the taxonomic identity, population dynamics, distribution, ecology and biology of leafhoppers affecting potatoes or agricultural crops in Alaska. This work reports on the taxonomic identity and population dynamics of leafhoppers collected from Alaska potatoes. Fourteen species were associated with potato. Two species, made up approximately 60% of the total number of individuals collected. Four of the species collected are known vectors of phytoplasma diseases of potatoes and other agricultural crops or have the potential to cause mechanical damage to potatoes. Data on vectoring capacity, population dynamics, and geographic distribution will be presented.

Technical Abstract: Leafhopper transmitted phytoplasma diseases are an emerging problem for potato and vegetable producers in the conterminous United States of America (USA). Due to its geographical isolation and climatic constrains, Alaska is considered relatively free of diseases and insect pests. Potato growers in the state are exploring the potential of producing seed potato for export. However, the biology of agricultural insect pests in the circumpolar region is lacking or poorly understood. Research conducted from 2004 to 2006 in the main potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production areas of Alaska resulted in the identification of 33 leafhopper species associated with agricultural settings. Fourteen species were associated with potato. Two species, Macrosteles facifrons (Stål) and Davisonia snowi (Dorst) made up approximately 60% of the total number of individuals collected. Four of the species collected are known vectors of phytoplasma diseases of potatoes and other agricultural crops or have the potential to cause mechanical damage to potatoes. Data on vectoring capacity, population dynamics, and geographic distribution will be presented.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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