Tuesday, December 15, 2009: 4:26 PM
Room 212, Second Floor (Convention Center)
The wheat curl mite (WCM), Aceria tosichella Keifer is an important pest of wheat in Texas due to its ability to vector several plant viruses. To attempt to reduce soil erosion, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was established to encourage landowners to convert agricultural acreage into native grassland. WCM infestations have been reported to occur on grasses other than wheat. However, WCM occurrence on CRP grasses and the ability of these grasses to serve as reservoirs for WCM vectored wheat diseases is poorly understood. To this end, we are looking at WCM occurrence on six warm season grasses (bermudagrass, blue grama, buffalograss, old world bluestem, sideoats grama, and switchgrass). WCMs were found to be present in sample plots in varying numbers on all samples dates. Sampling since early October has revealed a significant WCM preference for blue grama (p<0.000) and switchgrass (p<0.000). No plots were consistently positive for any of the plant viruses..