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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Brevipalpus Mites on Citrus and Their Status As Vectors of Citrus Leprosis [brevipalpus Como Vectores DE La Leprosis DE Los Citricos]

item Childers, Carl - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Kitajima, Elliot - UNIVERSIDAD DE SAO PAULO
item Welbourn, W. - GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
item Ochoa, Ronald

Submitted to: Revista Manejo Integrado de Plagas
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The citrus leprosis virus causes millions of dollar in damage each year to the citrus industries of Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela. This pathogen has been moving northward since 1941 and poses a serious threat to the billion dollar U.S. citrus industry. Three flat mite species in the genus Brevipalpus are vectors of the virus by transmitting the leprosis virus from infected plants to non infected plants. These mit species already occur in the citrus growing areas of the U. S. and could spread the virus rapidly. Although the citrus leprosis virus was recorded from Florida as early as the late 1800's, it has not been reported from the state since the 1960's. This study discusses the major advances and constraints relating to research programs on Brevipalpus mites and the leprosis virus. This information will be valuable to policy makers and researchers in establishing strategies for preventing the entry of this deadly virus into the U. S.

Technical Abstract: Sixteen species of mites in the family Tenuipalpidae have been reported from citrus worldwide including 10 in the genus Brevipalpus. In North, Central and South America three species, B. californicus (Banks), B. obovatus Donnadieu and B. phoenicis (Geijskes) have been reported from citrus and a wide range of other plant hosts. Citrus leprosis is a serious disease of citrus in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, and recently in Panama. Citrus leprosis causes yield reduction and eventual death of the trees without acaricidal control. In the late 1800's citrus leprosis was reported in Florida, but has not been reported since the 1960's. Brevipalpus californicus, B. obovatus and B. phoenicis have been reported as vectors of citrus leprosis, but only B. phoenicis have been proven to be an effective vector. The virus in B. phoenicis is transmitted transstadially but not transovarially. Recent work indicates there are two kinds of virus particles, one cytoplasmic and the other nuclear. Citrus leprosis has been mechanically transmitted from citrus to citrus and a few herbaceous plants, however attempts to purify and characterize the virus have been unsuccessful.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015