Wheat is an important food grain worldwide and the primary dryland crop in the western Great Plains. A complex of three wheat curl mite (WCM)-transmitted viruses (Wheat streak mosaic virus, High plains virus, and Triticum mosaic virus [TriMV]) is a cause of serious loss in winter wheat production in the Great Plains. TriMV was first reported in Kansas in 2006 and later found in most other Great Plains states. Currently, three populations of WCM have been identified by genetic characterization and differential responses to mite resistance genes in wheat. In this study, we examined TriMV transmission by these three WCM populations: ‘Nebraska’ (NE), ‘Montana’ (MT), and ‘South Dakota’ (SD). Mite transmission using single-mite transfers revealed that the NE WCM population transmitted TriMV at 41%, while the MT and SD WCM populations failed to transmit TriMV. In multi-mite transfers, the NE WCM population transmitted TriMV at 100% level compared with 2.5% transmission by MT and SD WCM populations. Interestingly, NE mites transferred during the quiescent stages following the first and second instar transmitted TriMV at a 39 to 40% rate, suggesting that immature mites were able to acquire the virus and maintain it through molting. In addition, mite survival for single-mite transfers was significantly lower for NE mites when transferred from TriMV-inoculated source plants (60%) compared with mock-inoculated source plants (84%). This demonstrates potentially negative effects on WCM survival from TriMV. TriMV transmission differences demonstrated in this study underscore the importance of identification of mite genotypes for future studies with TriMV.
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