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Identification of the Wheat Curl Mite as the Vector of Triticum mosaic virus

January 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  1
Pages  25 - 29

Dallas L. Seifers and T. J. Martin, Kansas State University, Agricultural Research Center-Hays, Hays, KS 67601-9228; Tom L. Harvey, Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506; John P. Fellers, USDA-ARS-PSERU, Dept. of Plant Pathology, Manhattan, KS 66506; and J. P. Michaud, Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506

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Accepted for publication 15 September 2008.

Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV) is a newly discovered virus found infecting wheat (Triticum aestivum) in Kansas. This study was conducted to determine if the wheat curl mite (WCM, Aceria tosichella) and the bird cherry oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) could transmit TriMV. Using different sources of WCM and two different isolates of TriMV, we were able to show the WCM is the vector of TriMV. Field analysis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) demonstrated natural infection patterns of wheat infected with TriMV, Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV), or both TriMV and WSMV, putatively infected by viruliferous WCM from a volunteer source growing adjacent to the wheat. Moreover, by single WCM transfers using WCM obtained from different wheat plants naturally infected with TriMV and WSMV and naturally infested with WCM, we showed that these WCM also transmitted TriMV only to wheat or transmitted both TriMV and WSMV to wheat. The infection rates of wheat with TriMV only using WCM transmission was low in both laboratory and field analyses. However, field analyses by ELISA showed that levels of infection of wheat by both TriMV and WSMV were high. No transmission of TriMV to wheat by R. padi occurred in our studies.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society