Stylet penetration of Cacopsylla pyri; an electrical penetration graph (EPG) study

S. Civolani, M. Leis, G. Grandi, E. Garzo, E. Pasqualini, S. Musacchi, M. Chicca, G. Castaldelli, M. Rossie, W.F. Tjallingii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Detailed information on plant penetration activities by pear psylla Cacopsylla pyri L. (Hemiptera Psyllidae) is essential to study phytoplasma transmission of “Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri” responsible of pear decline disease (PD) and to trace and evaluate resistant traits in new pear tree selections for advanced breeding programs. The electrical penetration graph technique or (full) EPG may relevantly contribute to this knowledge. C. pyri EPG waveforms were characterized on basis of amplitude, frequency, voltage level, and electrical origin. Additionally, stylet tracks and the putative location of stylet tips in the plant tissue were histologically related to EPG waveforms by light and transmission electron microscopy observations after stylectomy. More than one waveform occurred in the same tissue: PA, PB, PC1 and PC2 were all detected in the mesophyll, and PE1 and PE2 were both recorded in the phloem. Waveform PE1 was always preceded by transient waveform PD, as previously described in other psyllids. Interestingly, no brief intracellular punctures (potential drop waveforms) were observed during plant penetration, opposite of what is usually recorded in aphids and other Sternorrhyncha.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1419
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • candidatus phytoplasma mali
  • form pear psylla
  • feeding-behavior
  • aphid stylets
  • apple proliferation
  • fine-structure
  • decline
  • host
  • homoptera
  • ingestion


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