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Seasonal Occurrence and Abundance of Beet Leafhopper in the Potato Growing Region of Washington and Oregon Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley
Leafhopper-transmitted phytoplasma diseases are increasingly becoming important in the Pacific Northwest. An epidemic of purple top disease of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) occurred in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon in the 2002 growing season and caused significant yield losses to potato fields and a reduction in tuber quality. The disease was also observed during ensuing years, especially in potato fields not treated with insecticides. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, leafhopper sampling was conducted in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon and Yakima Valley to determine the seasonal occurrence and abundance of the beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus Baker, the primary vector of the potato purple top disease phytoplasma in this major potato producing region of the USA. Leafhoppers were sampled using sweep nets and yellow sticky traps at weekly intervals around potato fields throughout the Columbia Basin and in Yakima Valley from April to October. Leafhoppers were also sampled in two experimental potato fields not treated with insecticides in both 2003 and 2004. Leafhoppers in the samples were sorted, identified, and counted. The beet leafhopper was common and abundant in weeds near potato fields from mid-April to mid-October and had at least three generations per year. The beet leafhopper appeared into potato fields as early as April, but generally arrived in early May, and was present in potatoes throughout the remainder of the growing season. This leafhopper was abundant in potatoes in May to early July, suggesting that potatoes more likely are infected with the purple top disease phytoplasma during early summer; however, it is not clear how far into the growing season potato infection occurs. Several other leafhopper species were abundant in the study area and included economically important species such as Macrosteles spp., Ceratagallia spp., and Colladonus spp. All the leafhopper species found in weeds in the vicinity of potatoes were also present within potato fields. Further studies of the role C. tenellus and other potential leafhopper vectors play in purple top will be needed to improve management of this disease in the Pacific Northwest.
American journal of potato research : an official publication of the Potato Association of America 2008 Jan-Feb, v. 85, no. 1
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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