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Interaction of the Mite Aceria mangiferae with Fusarium mangiferae, the Causal Agent of Mango Malformation Disease

February 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  2
Pages  152 - 159

E. Gamliel-Atinsky, S. Freeman, A. Sztejnberg, M. Maymon, R. Ochoa, E. Belausov, and E. Palevsky

First and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot, 76100, Israel; first, second, and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), the Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel; fifth author: Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Bldg. 005, Room 137, Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA; sixth author: Microscopy Unit, ARO, The Volcani Center, Israel; and seventh author: Department of Entomology, Newe-Ya'ar Research Center, ARO, Ramat Yishay, 30095, Israel.

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Accepted for publication 1 October 2008.

The role of the mango bud mite, Aceria mangiferae, in carrying conidia of Fusarium mangiferae, vectoring them into potential infection sites, and assisting fungal infection and dissemination was studied. Following the mite's exposure to a green fluorescent protein-marked isolate, conidia were observed clinging to the mite's body. Agar plugs bearing either bud mites or the pathogen were placed on leaves near the apical buds of potted mango plants. Conidia were found in bud bracts only when both mites and conidia were co-inoculated on the plant, demonstrating that the mite vectored the conidia into the apical bud. Potted mango plants were inoculated with conidia in the presence or absence of mites. Frequency and severity of infected buds were significantly higher in the presence of mites, revealing their significant role in the fungal infection process. Conidia and mite presence were monitored with traps in a diseased orchard over a 2-year period. No windborne bud mites bearing conidia were found; however, high numbers of windborne conidia were detected in the traps. These results suggest that A. mangiferae can carry and vector conidia between buds and assist in fungal penetration but does not play a role in the aerial dissemination of conidia between trees.

Additional keyword:Eriophyidae, mite--fungal interactions.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society