Feeding behaviour of Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) (Hemiptera: Psylloidea: Triozidae) changes when infected with Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum
Valenzuela, I.; Sandanayaka, M.; Powell, K.S.; Norng, S.; Vereijssen, J.
Arthropod-Plant Interactions 14(5): 653-669
ISSN/ISBN: 1872-8855 DOI: 10.1007/s11829-020-09777-2
Pathogens which need a vector for their transmission can alter the vectors' behaviour to favour their spread. We used the electrical penetration graph technique to investigate this hypothesis by using the tomato potato psyllidBactericera cockerelliinfected or not with the plant pathogenCandidatusLiberibacter solanacearum (CLso) on African boxthorn and tomato. Probing was not affected by the host type but there was a significant effect on probing due to the infection status of the psyllid. More psyllids carried out probing activities in the sieve elements when infected with CLso, and more probing activities were observed from CLso-infected psyllids by comparison to the non-infected groups. Specifically, significant increases in salivation, phloem ingestion and number of probes, before and after reaching the sieve elements, were noticed in the infected groups. Furthermore, time elapsed to reach the sieve elements was significantly shortened by 2 h in the infected group. Remaining probing activities in xylem tissues were not different between all psyllid groups. The observed changes in feeding behaviour by pathogen-infected psyllids may well ensure further spread of the pathogen as greater salivation has the potential to increase transmission, highlighting at the same time the important role that crop and non-crop hosts play in disease epidemiology.