Potato Flea Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Evaluated as a Possible Vector of Ring Rot Bacterium in Potatoes
Authors: Christie, R. D.; Schulz, J. T.; Gudmestad, N. C.
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 86, Number 4, August 1993 , pp. 1223-1227(5)
Publisher: Entomological Society of America
Abstract:Commercial tolerances for the incidence of bacterial ring rot caused by Clavibacter michiganense subsp. sepedonicum (Spieck. & Kotth.), Davis, Gillaspie, Vidaver &Harris in potatoes, Solanum tuberosum L., are zero, requiring strict regulations to reduce field spread of the disease. Few insects have been shown to be directly associated with the dissemination of ring rot bacteria. Concentrations of bacteria within potato leaves as potential inoculum and the ability of the potato flea beetle, Epitrix cucumeris (Harris), to acquire and disseminate the ring rot bacterium were investigated. There was considerable variation in the concentrations of ring rot bacteria within potato leaves. The highest numbers of bacteria were found in the midveins. Fewest bacteria were present in the mesophyll of the laminae, but the basal sections of laminae contained more bacteria than did the midrib sections from leaflet tips. Potato flea beetles acquired the bacteria in 24 h or less. Beetles exposed to infected plant tissue were confirmed positive for the pathogen using indirect immunofluorescence antibody staining (IFAS). In addition, scanning electron photomicrographs of infected flea beetles showed their mouthparts to be contaminated with bacteria that were the same size and morphology as the ring rot pathogen. Positive IFAS reactions of potato test plants that had been fed upon by potato flea beetles previously exposed to ring rot-infected plants represented support for transmission of the bacteria by the beetles. Mode of transmission appears to be through feeding activity because IFAS analyses of regurgitants and fecal material from contaminated beetles were negative.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 1993
- Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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