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Effect of Temperature, Vector Life Stage, and Plant Access Period on Transmission of Banana bunchy top virus to Banana

June 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  6
Pages  743 - 748

M. D. Anhalt and R. P. P. Almeida

First author: Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822; and second author: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

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Accepted for publication 4 March 2008.

The study of the transmission biology of insect-borne plant viruses is important to develop disease control practices. We characterized the transmission of a nanovirus, Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV), by its aphid vector Pentalonia nigronervosa Coquerel (Hemiptera, Aphididae) with respect to temperature, vector life stage, and plant access time. Adult aphids transmitted BBTV more efficiently than third instar nymphs at all temperatures tested. Adult aphids transmitted the virus more efficiently at 25 and 30°C than at 20°C, but temperature had no impact on transmission efficiency by nymphs. By decoupling the relationship between temperature and aphid BBTV acquisition or inoculation, we determined that temperature affected inoculation events more strongly than acquisition. Longer plant access periods increased viral acquisition and inoculation efficiencies in a range of 60 min to 24 h. Both BBTV acquisition and inoculation efficiencies peaked after 18 h of plant access period. We also show that BBTV transmission by P. nigronervosa requires a latent period. Our results demonstrate that vector transmission of BBTV is affected by temperature, vector life stage, and plant access period.

Additional keywords:circulative, Nanoviridae.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society