Maize chlorotic dwarf virus is transmitted to maize by Graminella nigrifrons in a semi-persistent manner. In this study, we investigated the effects of light, photoperiod and sex on virus transmission. Using CO2 as an anesthetic, Graminella nigrifrons adults were separated by sex, and allowed to acquire MCDV for 24 hours by feeding on infected plants. Subsequently, leafhoppers (2 per plant) were allowed a 48 hour inoculation access period on 3 to 6 cm Seneca Chief corn seedlings. Transmission rates were determined by the number of symptomatic plants two weeks after inoculation.
All the experiments were conducted in two growth chambers at 24°C. Four treatments were used: (1) high light (279 W/m2 ) with a 15 h photoperiod; (2) high light with a 9 h photoperiod; (3) low light (72 W/m2)with a 15 h photo period; and (4) low light with a 9 h photoperiod. For both male and female leafhoppers, MCDV was transmitted at a significantly higher levels at the high light level and with a longer photoperiod (p=0.0023). Leafhopper sex also significantly affected transmission (p=0.323), with females being more effective at virus transmission. The effects of light intensity * sex and light intensity * photoperiod * sex were not significant (p=0.176). These results indicate that the quality and quantity of light are primary effectors.
Species 1: Homoptera Cicadellidae Graminella nigrifrons (the blacked-faced leafhopper)
Keywords: transmission, photoperiod
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