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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Project name Surveillance of Tomato Potato Psyllid in the Eastern States and South Australia
Funding bodies Hort Innovation $240,000
Chief Investigators Associate Professor Calum Wilson
Contributors Simplot Australia, McCain Foods Australia, Snack Brands Australia, The Smiths Snackfood Company

Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) is a biosecurity threat to Australian solanaceous crop industries, including potato, tomato, capsicum, eggplant and chilli. 

From February 2011 until June 2018, TIA coordinated a national surveillance program to act as an early warning system for TPP.

“We distributed over 3000 sticky traps to more than 70 locations across Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland,” trapping coordinator Ms Raylea Rowbottom said.

"No TPP was detected, however growers should remain vigilant in checking their crops." 

This fact sheet outlines the signs and symptoms of TPP.

The project was a collaboration with potato processing companies Simplot Australia Pty, McCain Foods Australia Pty, Smiths Snackfood Company and Snack Brands Australia.

More background

Native to North and Central America, TPP was accidentally introduced into New Zealand in the mid-2000s and Norfolk Island in 2014. The pest was discovered in Western Australia in February 2017.

The psyllid is a vector of a bacterium, "Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" (synonym "Ca. L. psyllaurous"), which causes psyllid yellows disease in tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums, eggplants and tamarillos, and zebra chip disease in potatoes. 

Both the vector and pathogen have had a devastating impact on the solanaceous crop industries wherever they occur, resulting in millions of dollars of losses annually through increased pest control and monitoring, reduced yields and disruption to commodity export markets. 

Resources

For more information, contact:

Raylea Rowbottom
P: 0428 745 752
E: raylea.rowbottom@utas.edu.au