Liberibacter, the bacterium responsible for zebra chip, has been found in an Idaho potato field. The bacterium was found on adult psyllids stuck on a sticky card in a commercial field as part of a testing programme.
Erik Wenninger, assistant professor of entomology for the University of Idaho’s Kimberly Research and Extension Center said, "The presence of zebra chip in the region has the potential to be economically devastating."
However, he did emphasise that, at this stage, the result was tentative and would only be confirmed after another round of tests. "It would be awfully surprising to have it come back negative," Wenninger said. "I don’t want to get people panicked, but I also don’t want to withhold information."
The disease can cause millions of dollars in damages if it gets a hold in an area. Treatments can also cost a lot of money, involving season long, week insecticide applications.
Source: Magic Valley