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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: An Entomopathogenic Virus for Potential Biological Control of Whitefly

Authors
item McKenzie, Cindy
item Hunter, Wayne

Submitted to: European Whitefly Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Crop damage caused by Bemisia to the Florida vegetable industry as a result of direct feeding and more importantly as vectors of geminiviruses resulted in economic losses of $141M in 1991. Few microbial bio-control agents and no known viral agents are available for use on whiteflies. A newly described entomopathogenic virus was recently discovered in south Florida whitefly populations. The virus was determined to be an Iridovirus by DNA analysis. These viruses are known to be pathogenic to a wide range of insects including whiteflies. Demonstrated modes of transmission for iridovirus in other insect systems have been shown to be through oral ingestion, cuticular wounding (abrasions), transovarially, and occasionally sexual transmission. Traditionally many biological agents are applied by foliar spray application; therefore, we determined if this would be a feasible method of application for iridovirus to control whiteflies on tomatoes. Adult whiteflies, Bemisia tabaci biotype B, were obtained from the USHRL colony and all experiments were conducted at 22 deg C in environmental growth chambers. Adult whiteflies were used to infest single leaves of tomato enclosed in a Petri dish bioassay system and allowed to reproduce for 14 days to assure all whitefly stages were present and then sprayed with 200 ul suspension of iridovirus. Treated and untreated adult whiteflies were transferred to new Petri dish bioassay systems after 72 hr exposure to the iridovirus. Both immature and adult whitefly treatments were held for an additional 10 days to allow the virus to replicate. Whitefly eggs, nymphs, pupae and adults were tested for iridovirus using PCR analysis. Results and the potential use of

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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