Submitted to: Florida Entomological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 2005
Publication Date: July 24, 2005
Citation: Hunter, W.B., Albrecht, U., Achor, D. 2005. Reducing glassy-winged sharpshooters using insect-infecting viruses, Homalodisca Coagulata (Say) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). 88th annual meeting of the Florida Entomological Society. July 24-27, 2005, Ft. Myers, FL. Paper No. DSP-9. Technical Abstract: Pierce's Disease of grapes, which is caused by the bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, threatens the national viticulture industry. The glassy-winged sharpshooter is the primary vector of Pierce's Disease due to a larger host range, larger size and ability to fly long distances, and the ability to transmit multiple strains of Xylella. Insect viral pathogens of leafhoppers have yet to be examined as potential microbial control agents. Results: GWSS adults were successfully infected with Whitefly Iridovirus, WFIV that had been propagated in Trichoplusia ni larvae. Virus infection caused reduced longevity, infected GWSS dying an average of 5 days earlier than non-infected, which resulted in an overall reduction in egg mass production between the virus infected group versus non-infected. Nymphal emergence and survivorship were not measured. Adults were infected by microinjection and sprays. Infected individuals transmitted the virus to 'healthy' cohorts when caged together, suggesting an aerosol or sexual mode of transmission. Detection of virus positive eggs suggests that WFIV may also have a transovarial mode of transmission. Summary: Leafhopper vectors of Pierce's Disease, such as the Glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata, are susceptible to infection by iridescent insect viruses which can decrease sharpshooter survival.