The Zebra Chip and Potato Psyllid Survey and Monitoring project in Canada is to survey fields for populations of the potato psyllid, and test captured potato psyllids and symptomatic tubers for the presence of the pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso). It is coordinated by Dan Johnson, Larry Kawchuk, and Scott Meers. Zebra chip is a disease that severely disrupts carbohydrate flow in potato plants, resulting in a striped appearance in tubers. The pathogen Lso is transmitted by the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, a flying insect 2-3 mm in length. The Canadian monitoring project consists of a network of researchers and collaborators participating in conducting field sampling, identifying species and stages, mapping occurrence if found, developing and implementing a monitoring program and developing a management plan.
The potato psyllid, previously rare or unknown in Canada, was found in Alberta at numerous locations during 2015-2017, and in 2016 in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 2017, potato psyllids were found in Alberta potato fields from mid-June until late September.
To get a free yellow sampling card to place near potato or tomato plants in Canada to check for invasive potato psyllid, contact Dr Dan Johnson, etnomologist at the University of Lethbridge – dan.johnson@uLeth.ca. Twitter: @DanJohnsonAB. Further information and report on 2017 results