Oregon State University
    Volunteer potato plants growing from seed infected with zebra chip are likely too few in number and survive too briefly to contribute to the spread of the crop disease, according to new Oregon State University research findings.

    OSU plant pathology laboratory manager Jordan Eggers, OSU Extension entomologist Silvia Rondon, Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension station director Phill Hamm and OSU postdoctoral entomology scholar Alexzandra Murphy studied volunteers in fields hard hit by zebra chip in 2011.

    Eggers said they also planted infected tubers in a screened facility in 2011 to study emergence. He said 53 percent of infected seed produced plants, but only 10 percent of those sprouts showed any symptoms of zebra chip.

    Furthermore, only half of the symptomatic volunteer plants tested positive for the Liberibacter bacterium that causes zebra chip.