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High Incidence of Tobacco Streak Virus in Tobacco and Its Transmission by Microcephalothrips abdominalis and Pollen from Ageratum houstonianum. R. S. Greber, Department of Microbiology, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia. M. J. Klose, D. S. Teakle, and J. R. Milne. Department of Microbiology, and Department of Entomology, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia. Plant Dis. 75:450-452. Accepted for publication 3 October 1990. Copyright 1991 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-75-0450.

Incidence of tobacco streak virus (TSV) in an Australian tobacco crop at flowering was shown by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to be 5859% in outside rows near weeds infected with TSV, decreasing to 1018% in the 12th row inside the crop. The most prevalent dicotyledonous weed, Ageratum houstonianum, had a 50% incidence of infection and its flower heads were commonly infested with Microcephalothrips abdominalis. In transmission tests with either five or 10 adult thrips and pollen taken from the nearby A. houstonianum, TSV infection occurred in 32 of 45 tobacco, 11 of 12 cucumber, two of 12 Nicotiana clevelandii, and 18 of 22 Chenopodium amaranticolor test seedlings. Thrips-infested, flowering A. houstonianum appears to be responsible for this outbreak of TSV in subtropical Australia.