Monday, December 11, 2006 - 9:59 AM

Transmission of Banana bunchy top virus to banana by Pentalonia nigronervosa (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Mandy Anhalt,, University of Hawaii - Manoa, Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, 3050 Maile Way, Room 310, Honolulu, HI and Rodrigo Almeida,, University of California - Berkeley, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, 137 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA.

Banana bunchy top disease (BBTD) causes major economic loss to banana growers in many parts of world, including Hawaii. BBTD is caused by Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV), the only member of the genus Babuvirus in the family Nanoviridae. BBTV is host specific, causing disease in all bananas (Musa spp.), there are no virus-resistant varieties known. Pentalonia nigronervosa (Hemiptera, Aphididae) is the only known vector of this virus to banana. As with any other insect-borne plant viruses, fundamental knowledge of the characteristics of pathogen transmission is necessary for the development of successful control practices. We are conducting research to determine: i) if there are any differences in aphid acquisition efficiency from symptomatic cut leaves and whole plants, ii) the virus latent period within aphids and iii) the virus latent period within the host plant for aphid acquisition. In our work, whole plants and cut leaves were determined to be equally good as sources for BBTV acquisition. Preliminary results indicate that the minimum latent period within aphids is 26 hours, similarly to some other circulative non-propagative viruses. Aphid-inoculated plants take approximately 2 months to express symptoms, results on virus latent period within plants in relation to aphid acquisition are pending. Our work will generate information on temporal aspects of BBTV transmission that can be incorporated in BBTD management practices.

Species 1: Hemiptera Aphididae Pentalonia nigronervosa

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