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Potato pest dissected for clues to better controlling it

Modified: Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Photo/ Joseph Munyaneza - A potato psyllid nymph is yellow-green, flat, sedentary, and usually found on the underside of leaves. Potato psyllids transmit the bacterium that causes zebra chip disease in potatoes.

WAPATO, Wash. – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to finding new ways of managing “zebra chip” and the insect that can spread this plant disease to potato crops.

In Wapato, Wash., USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) entomologist Rodney Cooper is using fine-tipped forceps and a fluorescent microscope to dissect the organs and tissues of the potato psyllid, a tiny, cicada-like insect which can transmit the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, the cause of zebra chip.

For the complete article see the 05-16-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-16-2014 paper.

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