Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insect Causing Unsightly 'Zebra Chip' Potatoes

Date:
October 31, 2007
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Tiny, cicadalike insects called psyllids are the prime suspects in investigations into the "zebra chip" disorder of potatoes. Zebra chip refers to dark, unsightly stripes that appear inside afflicted tubers, especially when cut and fried to make chips.

Damage caused by the disorder quite apparent when the potatoes are made into chips.
Credit: Joseph Munyaneza, ARS, USDA

Tiny, cicadalike insects called psyllids are the prime suspects in Agricultural Research Service (ARS) investigations into the "zebra chip" disorder of potatoes.

Zebra chip (ZC) refers to dark, unsightly stripes that appear inside afflicted tubers, especially when cut and fried to make chips.

The disorder was first reported in Mexican potato fields in 1994 and in U.S. spuds in 2000 near Pearsall, Texas, and the Texas side of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Outbreaks from 2004 to 2006 in Mexico, Texas and other U.S. states cost growers and processors on both sides of the border millions of dollars in losses.

The cause of ZC isn't known yet, but Jim Crosslin and Joseph Munyaneza's studies show a strong correlation to feeding by the psyllid species Bactericera cockerelli.

Crosslin, a plant pathologist in the ARS Vegetable and Forage Crops Research Unit, Prosser, Wash., and Munyaneza, an entomologist in the ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, Wash., consider B. cockerelli an "insect of interest" for several reasons: Potato plants are favorite hosts; its nymph stage injects toxins that cause psyllid yellows disease, whose symptoms resemble ZC's; it was prevalent in ZC-infested fields Munyaneza surveyed in south Texas in 2004; and it winters in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and migrates north in the spring.

In experiments, the researchers used two groups of potato plants—one with psyllids and one without. In greenhouse trials with psyllid-exposed plants, ZC symptoms appeared in nearly 26 percent of tubers and 60 percent of fried chips. In field trials, the percentages were 15 and 57 percent, respectively. Psyllid-free plants showed no symptoms.

Using genetic fingerprinting methods, the researchers also checked the plants for phytoplasmas that cause potato purple-top wilt syndrome (PPTWS), whose symptoms resemble ZC. The tests were negative, however, suggesting ZC wasn't associated with PPTWS or leafhoppers that transmit PPTWS.

Crosslin notes that monitoring psyllids and targeting them with sprays appears to be an effective prevention method. Indeed, a McAllen, Texas, associate told of reducing potato losses from several hundred acres in 2006 to 50 this year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Insect Causing Unsightly 'Zebra Chip' Potatoes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071026133716.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2007, October 31). Insect Causing Unsightly 'Zebra Chip' Potatoes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071026133716.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Insect Causing Unsightly 'Zebra Chip' Potatoes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071026133716.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins