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POSTERS: Pathogen-vector/insect interactions

Population establishment potential and virus transmission efficiency of Montana wheat curl mites and the cereal rust mite
Uta McKelvy - Montana State University. Cirano Melville- São Paulo State University (UNESP/FCAV), Monica Brelsford- Montana State University, Mary Burrows- Montana State University

Wheat streak mosaic (WSM) is the most important viral disease of cereals in the Great Plains region of the U.S. Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV; family Potyviridae) is transmitted by the wheat curl mite (WCM; Aceria tosichella). This eriophyid mite is also a known vector of Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV; family Potyviridae). In recent years, WCMs have been identified as a cryptic species complex composed of genetically distinct biotypes with variable host ranges and vector capacities. During the WSM epidemic in Montana in 2016, two WCM populations were collected from different locations in the state and maintained in the greenhouse in addition to a population of cereal rust mites (CRM; Abacarus hystrix). While CRMs infest wheat, they’re not a known vector for any of the WCM-transmitted viruses. The three mite populations were assessed for their ability to establish on wheat plants and to transmit WSMV and TriMV. Non-viruliferous mite colonies were reared on wheat plants inoculated with WSMV, TriMV, or a mixture of viruses. Single viruliferous mites were then transferred to individual healthy wheat plants grown in mite-proof containers. Initial results suggest consistently high establishment success rates for CRMs and substantiate that CRM is a not a vector of WSMV or TriMV. In contrast, mite establishment success was more variable for the different WCM/virus combinations, indicating potential differential interactions between the WCMs, WSMV and TriMV. This study contributes to the understanding of eriophyid mite diversity and vector capacity.