The potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is an economically important pest of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) crops across the western and central United States, as it is known to cause psyllid yellows disease and to transmit the bacterium that causes zebra chip disease. Recent genotyping of B. cockerelli collected during the 2011 potato growing season identified three psyllid haplotypes within the western and central United States according to their geographical regions: northwestern, western, and central. To understand potato psyllid population dynamics before the year 2011, high resolution melting analysis of the B. cockerelli mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I-like gene was used to identify the haplotypes of over 450 archived psyllids collected in the western and central United States between the years 1998 and 2010. Results show that the northwestern haplotype was present in Washington State as early as 1998 and has persisted in this region since that time. Likewise, psyllids of the western haplotype have also been present in Washington and Oregon before 2011.
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Vol. 42 • No. 2