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Plum Pox in North America: Identification of Aphid Vectors and a Potential Role for Fruit in Virus Spread

August 2004 , Volume 94 , Number  8
Pages  868 - 874

Frederick Gildow , Vern Damsteegt , Andrew Stone , William Schneider , Douglas Luster , and Laurene Levy

First author: Department of Plant Pathology, Penn State University, University Park 16802; second, third, fourth, and fifth authors: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Research Service, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, Fort Detrick, MD 21702; and sixth author: USDA-APHIS-CPHST, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705

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Accepted for publication 13 April 2004.

Thirteen aphid species were tested for their ability to transmit Pennsylvania isolates of Plum pox virus (PPV) collected in Columbia (PENN-3), Franklin (PENN-4), and York (PENN-7) Counties, PA. Four species, Aphis fabae, A. spiraecola, Brachycaudus persicae, and Myzus persicae, consistently transmitted PPV in preliminary transmission tests. Two species, Metopolophium dirhodum and Rhopalosiphum padi, were occasional inefficient vectors. Toxoptera citricida, from Florida, also was an effective vector but it does not occur in major stone-fruit-growing states. Species not transmitting PPV in parallel tests included Acyrthosiphon pisum, Aphis glycines, Aulacorthum solani, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, Rhopalosiphum maidis, and Sitobion avenae. When given a 3-day probing access period simultaneously on PPV-infected peach seedlings and healthy peach seedlings, Myzus persicae, Aphis spiraecola, A. fabae, and B. persicae transmitted PPV to 63, 31, 38, and 32% of the healthy peach seedlings, respectively. When given a similar probing period on PPV-infected peach fruit and healthy peach seedlings, the same aphid species transmitted PPV to 50, 35, 0, and 0% of seedlings, respectively. Results support the hypothesis of secondary PPV spread by indigenous aphids in Pennsylvania, and suggest that PPV-infected fruit has the potential to function as a virus source for long-distance dispersal.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2004