Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University, Binnenhaven 11, 6709 PD Wageningen, the Netherlands
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Accepted for publication 16 March 2004.
The effect of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) infection on plant attractiveness for the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) was studied. Significantly more thrips were recovered on infected than were recovered on noninfected pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants in different preference tests. In addition, more offspring were produced on the virus-infected pepper plants, and this effect also was found for TSWV-infected Datura stramonium. Thrips behavior was minimally influenced by TSWV-infection of host plants with only a slight preference for feeding on infected plants. Offspring development was positively affected since larvae hatched earlier from eggs and subsequently pupated faster on TSWV-infected plants. These results show a mutualistic relationship between F. occidentalis and TSWV.
© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society