Interhaplotype Fertility and Effects of Host Plant on Reproductive Traits of Three Haplotypes of Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae)

Environ Entomol. 2015 Apr;44(2):300-8. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvu029. Epub 2015 Jan 28.


Potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a serious pest of solanaceous crops in North and Central America and New Zealand. This insect vectors the bacterium that causes zebra chip disease of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Four distinct genetic populations, or haplotypes, of B. cockerelli have been identified. Three of the haplotypes may co-occur in potato fields in the Pacific Northwest of United States. Solanaceous weeds, including the perennial Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade), may provide refuge for psyllid populations which then migrate to potato crops. This study tested whether fecundity, fertility (% egg hatch), and adult longevity of potato psyllid were affected by host plant (S. dulcamara or potato) and whether these reproductive traits were similar among the three haplotypes that are most common in the Pacfic Northwest: Northwestern, Central, and Western. We hypothesized that the locally resident haplotype (Northwestern), which is known to overwinter extensively on S. dulcamara, would show relatively higher fitness on nightshade than the other two haplotypes. Fecundity differed significantly among haplotypes, with an average lifetime fecundity of 1050, 877, and 629 eggs for Northwestern, Western, and Central females, respectively. Egg hatch was significantly reduced in psyllids reared on bittersweet nightshade (61.9%) versus potato (81.3%). Adult psyllids lived longer on nightshade than on potato, averaging 113.9 and 108.4 d on nightshade and 79.0 and 85.5 d on potato for males and females, respectively. However, the longer life span of psyllids on nightshade than potato failed to lead to higher fecundity, because females on nightshade often ended egglaying well before death, unlike those on potato. There was no evidence for any of the fitness traits to suggest that the locally resident haplotype (Northwestern) performed relatively better on nightshade than the other two haplotypes. Lastly, we examined whether mating between psyllids of different haplotypes affected sperm transfer and egg hatch rates. Females of the Northwestern haplotype failed to produce viable eggs when mated by males of either the Western or Central haplotypes.

Keywords: haplotype; interhaplotype fertility; potato; potato psyllid; reproductive trait.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crops, Agricultural / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Food Chain*
  • Haplotypes
  • Hemiptera / genetics
  • Hemiptera / physiology*
  • Herbivory
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Northwestern United States
  • Plant Weeds / physiology*
  • Reproduction
  • Solanum / physiology*
  • Solanum tuberosum / physiology