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Ongoing project

National tomato potato psyllid and zebra chip surveillance (MT18008)

Key research provider: The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia in collaboration with others

What’s it all about?

Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) is one of the world’s most destructive horticultural pests. This is because the psyllid acts as a vector for the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Clso), which is associated with ‘zebra chip’ disease and ‘psyllid yellows’ in solanaceous plants.

In 2017, TPP was found to have established in Western Australia, but not to have spread further. This investment supports a critical national surveillance, identification and reporting program for the pest and Clso across Australia on behalf of the horticulture industry. Highly collaborative across states and territories, the program is designed for the early detection of and preparedness for TPP should it cross from Western Australia into other regions.

National sampling work was staggered for each region to coincide with the growing season and insect activity. The first season sampling was in spring 2019, with the second season for most jurisdictions (year 1, season 2) in autumn 2020, and the third season (year 2, season 1) in spring 2020. Results have been analysed and reported.

COVID-19 restrictions had an impact on sampling efforts, with the team adapting its plans to ensure that full surveillance objectives continue to be achieved.

The potential to adapt the national TPP surveillance to encompass multiple psylloidea pest species, specifically Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), was explored the by the project team, with a multi-lure experiment successfully conducted in Western Australia to determine whether the ACP lures and traps have an impact on TPP capture and that of other psyllids.

The project team engaged with industry stakeholders via several meetings, event presentations, publications and articles, and will continue to share results as they become available.

ACT NOW

Read about the projects’ early results in the Winter 2020 edition of Vegetables Australia: National TPP surveillance program delivers first season results (page 66).

Details

This project is a multi-industry strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Nursery, Potato - Fresh, Potato - Processing and Vegetable Funds