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New Zealand Plant Protection 66 (2013): 356-364

A survey of Maori potato (taewa) seed tubers for the presence of Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum

A.J. Puketapu, R. Gardner-Gee, L.K. Tooman and S.S. Beard


Taewa (Solanum tuberosum L.) production is threatened by a new insect pest, the tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli Sulc.), and the bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso)) vectored by the psyllid. Lso is known to reduce potato yields and can infect seed tubers, but less is known for taewa specifically. In this study tubers from 17 taewa lines were tested for Lso using a qPCR assay, grown in a greenhouse and assessed for symptoms of tuber-borne Lso. Lso was detected by qPCR in three tubers. The Lso-positive tubers were from three lines from two North Island seed sources; no Lso was detected in the seven South Island lines tested. In the greenhouse trial, two of the three Lso-positive tubers emerged and one grew normally. The greenhouse trial detected disease symptoms associated with Lso in several other lines, but other potato viruses and diseases cause similar symptoms, and this area needs further study.

Keywords: tomato-potato psyllid, zebra chip, seed tuber, potato, TPP.

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