Use of Electrical Penetration Graph Technology to Examine Transmission of 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' to Potato by Three Haplotypes of Potato Psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli; Hemiptera: Triozidae)
Mustafa, T.; Horton, D.R.; Cooper, W.Rodney.; Swisher, K.D.; Zack, R.S.; Pappu, H.R.; Munyaneza, J.E.
Plos one 10(9): E0138946
The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a vector of the phloem-limited bacterium 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (Lso), the putative causal agent of zebra chip disease of potato. Little is known about how potato psyllid transmits Lso to potato. We used electrical penetration graph (EPG) technology to compare stylet probing behaviors and efficiency of Lso transmission of three haplotypes of potato psyllid (Central, Western, Northwestern). All haplotypes exhibited the full suite of stylet behaviors identified in previous studies with this psyllid, including intercellular penetration and secretion of the stylet pathway, xylem ingestion, and phloem activities, the latter comprising salivation and ingestion. The three haplotypes exhibited similar frequency and duration of probing behaviors, with the exception of salivation into phloem, which was of higher duration by psyllids of the Western haplotype. We manipulated how long psyllids were allowed access to potato ("inoculation access period", or IAP) to examine the relationship between phloem activities and Lso transmission. Between 25 and 30% of psyllids reached and salivated into phloem at an IAP of 1 hr, increasing to almost 80% of psyllids as IAP was increased to 24 h. Probability of Lso-transmission was lower across all IAP levels than probability of phloem salivation, indicating that a percentage of infected psyllids which salivated into the phloem failed to transmit Lso. Logistic regression showed that probability of transmission increased as a function of time spent salivating into the phloem; transmission occurred as quickly as 5 min following onset of salivation. A small percentage of infected psyllids showed extremely long salivation events but nonetheless failed to transmit Lso, for unknown reasons. Information from these studies increases our understanding of Lso transmission by potato psyllid, and demonstrates the value of EPG technology in exploring questions of vector efficiency.