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Historical document

Native psyllid populations and the distribution of Candidatus phytoplasma australiense (PT10001)

Key research provider: Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Publication date: May, 2014

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

The (then) recent accidental introduction of the tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) into New Zealand has raised fears that this insect pest could readily enter Australia and have a similar devastating impact on local solanaceous crop industries. The psyllid is a vector of the bacterium, “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum”, which is associated with psyllid yellows disease in tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums, eggplants and tamarillos, and zebra chip disease in potatoes. Another plant disease “Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense” was also recently discovered in New Zealand potatoes and psyllids were implicated in its spread. This report details outcomes from Project PT10001 which aimed to provide potato growers and industry stakeholders with an early warning system to detect incursions of the tomato potato psyllid in the major potato growing areas of eastern Australia, using a network of yellow sticky traps. A literature review on the tomato psyllid, Liberibacter and Phytoplasma complex is provided, and baseline data on the number and types of native psyllids caught in potato fields are given. The likelihood of native psyllids playing a role in the transmission of Liberibacter/Phytoplasma in potatoes is discussed.


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Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2014. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).

This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) through voluntary contributions from Simplot Australia Pty, McCain Foods (Aust) Pty, Smiths Snackfood Company, Snack Brands Australia and the Tasmanian Seed Certification Scheme, and matched funds from the Australian Government.