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Aerial Transmission of Thielaviopsis basicola, a Pathogen of Corn-Salad, by Adult Shore Flies

June 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  6
Pages  476 - 479

M. E. Stanghellini , S. L. Rasmussen , and D. H. Kim

First and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside 92521; and second author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721

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Accepted for publication 8 March 1999.

Chlamydospores of Thielaviopsis basicola were consistently observed in frass excreted by adults and larvae of shore flies that were collected in the immediate vicinity of naturally infected corn-salad plants obtained from a commercial greenhouse production facility. Approximately 95% of the adult flies and 85% of the larvae were internally infested with the pathogen. Pathogen-free adult shore flies were subsequently shown to acquire the pathogen by ingestion after feeding on naturally infected plants. Viable propagules of the pathogen were excreted by these internally infested adults and were capable of transmitting the pathogen to healthy seedlings, which subsequently became infected.

Additional keywords: fungus gnats, hydroponics, insect vector, Pythium aphanidermatum, soilborne plant pathogen.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society