Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research
2012 Annual Report
Thrips transmission experiments refined methodology and yielded additional information on which local thrips species may transmit Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV) in Florida. This included testing of larger numbers of some species, including Frankliniella schultzei. Additional thrips species were collected with collaborators for further transmission experiments. An experimental host range test with GRSV has nearly been completed. Experimental hosts identified are thus far confined to the tomato (Solanaceae) family, matching well with our prior reports of natural infection of tomato, pepper, tomatillo and eggplant. Field sampling of weeds and crops in vegetable fields in conjunction with collaborators has resulted in confirmation of GRSV in many south Florida growing areas. Additional counties and weed hosts have been identified. Collaborators have collected weekly thrips counts and GRSV incidence data from disease hotspots, in many cases using smartphone-based online scouting and decision support system. GRSV updates provided via vegetable grower meeting and a University of Florida IFAS/EDIS fact sheet. Collectively these results represent substantial progress in project efforts to determine which local thrips species are important for GRSV transmission in Florida and which local weeds and crops may serve as GRSV reservoirs in Florida.