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Seasonal dynamics of Iris yellow spot virus transmitters among Thrips tabaci populations from onion fields.
S. BAG (1), S. I. Rondon (2), H. R. Pappu (1). (1) Washington State University, Pullman, WA, U.S.A.; (2) Oregon State University, Hermiston, OR, U.S.A.

Onion thrips, <i>Thrips tabaci</i> Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), is a global pest in commercial onion (<i>Allium cepa </i>L.). <i>Thrips tabaci</i> can cause yield loss of >50%. Moreover, it is a vector of <i>Iris yellow spot virus</i> (IYSV, family <i>Bunyaviridae</i>, genus<i> Tospovirus</i>), a serious viral pathogen affecting both bulb and seed onion crops in the U.S. and many parts of the world. IYSV infection can lead to total crop loss. The role of <i>T. tabaci</i> in IYSV epidemiology is not completely understood. As part of an ongoing project to develop an IPM strategy for IYSV, the seasonal dynamics of <i>T. tabaci</i> that could serve as potential transmitters of IYSV was undertaken. Live adult <i>T. tabaci</i> were collected from two onion fields, one adjacent to an overwintering onion field and one far away from any onion field. Thrips were tested individually for the presence of IYSV by direct antigen coated–enzyme linked immunosorbent assay using antiserum specific to the non structural protein (NSs) of IYSV to differentiate between the transmitters from on-transmitters. Significantly more thrips populations were found in the middle of July and correlated with the highest percentage of potential transmitters during the same week during 2008 and 2009 seasons. The ELISA test facilitated rapid testing of a large number of field-collected thrips to determine the proportion of thrips that are potential virus transmitters. This information could help refine thrips management practices as part of an overall IPM strategy for reducing the impact of IYSV. <p><p>Keywords: Virus-Viroid, Vegetables, Onion

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