Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) can severely affect onion production. IYSV is transmitted by the onion thrips, Thrips tabaci. However, information on IYSV–thrips–onion interactions is limited due to the difficulty associated with infecting onion plants experimentally. Lisianthus (Eustoma russellianum) was used as an indicator host to study mechanical transmission of IYSV, IYSV transmission by T. tabaci, IYSV distribution in the host plant, and the effect of temperature on IYSV symptom expression. Mechanical inoculation tests from IYSV-infected onion plants to noninfected lisianthus plants resulted in a mean transmission rate of 82.5 ± 6.9% (mean ± standard error), and from IYSV-infected lisianthus plants to noninfected lisianthus plants resulted in a mean transmission rate of 89.2 ± 7.1%. T. tabaci adults transmitted IYSV at a rate of 80.0 ± 8.3% from infected onion plants to noninfected lisianthus plants. To assess IYSV distribution in infected lisianthus plants, leaf sections, stems, and roots were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). All the plant parts tested positive for IYSV, but not on every plant assayed. Alternating night and day temperatures of 18 and 23°C, 25 and 30°C, and 30 and 37°C were evaluated for the effects on IYSV symptom expression. More severe symptoms developed on inoculated plants incubated at the 18 and 23°C or 25 and 30°C temperature regimes than at the 30 and 37°C regime, and symptoms were observed earliest on plants incubated at the 25 and 30°C temperature regime compared to the other temperature regimes.
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