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The Efficiency by Which Thrips tabaci Populations Transmit Tomato spotted wilt virus Depends on Their Host Preference and Reproductive Strategy

June 2002 , Volume 92 , Number  6
Pages  603 - 609

Elisavet K. Chatzivassiliou , Dick Peters , and Nikolaos I. Katis

First and third authors: Plant Pathology Laboratory, Aristotle University, Faculty of Agriculture, P.O. Box 269, 540 06 Thessaloniki, Greece; and second author: Laboratory of Virology, Agricultural University, Binnenhaven 11, 6709 PD, Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Accepted for publication 14 February 2002.

Arrhenotokous and thelytokous populations of Thrips tabaci from tobacco or leek plants were evaluated for their ability to transmit Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and for their host preference. Transmission efficiencies were comparatively studied using leaf disks of Petunia hybrida, Datura stramonium, and Nicotiana tabacum cv. Basmas. Adults of arrhenotokous populations collected on infected tobacco plants in the field were efficient transmitters (up to 48.5% transmission) and remained so when maintained on tobacco for several generations. Arrhenotokous T. tabacipopulations from leek plants were poor transmitters (up to 3.1% transmission), whereas no transmission was obtained with thelytokous populations from leek. All populations could infest leek, however none of the arrhenotokous and thelytokous populations from leek plants was able to infest tobacco. TSWV could be acquired by both first and second larval instars of a T. tabacipopulation from tobacco. However, the transmission by adults decreased with the age at which the virus was acquired by larvae. The highest efficiencies (61% of males and 51% of females transmitted) were obtained when newborn (0- to 24-h old) larvae acquired the virus. The majority of thrips started to transmit after becoming adult and rates were positively correlated with the temperature at which the thrips were kept. The median latent period values found for adults decreased with increasing temperature. The median acquisition access period (AAP50) of the population was 41 min, whereas the AAP50 was 65 min for males and 35 min for females. The median inoculation access period of males was 246 and 365 min on tobacco and petunia, respectively, and 96 and 345 min for females. The results show that T. tabaci forms a complex in terms of host preference, reproductive strategy, and ability to transmit TSWV. The transmission parameters show that the thrips of arrhenotokous populations infesting tobacco are highly efficient vectors.

Additional keywords: leek thrips populations, tobacco thrips populations, tospovirus.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society